Disinformation 101

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As protesters filled the streets of Hong Kong calling for democratic rights, agents of influence were operating behind the scenes to affect the way the protests are perceived by different audiences. In Hong Kong, the images reflect a demonstration movement, but in China, the images are tailored to a narrative described by The New York Times as a “small, violent gang of protesters, unsupported by residents and provoked by foreign agents…running rampant, calling for Hong Kong’s independence and tearing China apart.” The Chinese efforts are textbook disinformation tactics.

Ahead of the 2020 election, the U.S. Government sees disinformation as a serious national security threat.  The Office of the Director of National Intelligence says it is ‘preparing to confront a novel set of challenges related to the upcoming 2020 presidential elections amid proliferating disinformation threats.” 

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