Get exclusive audio briefings by experts for experts on the current events that matter.

Fighting Viral Disinformation: Malicious Disinformation Related to COVID-19

March 27, 2020

Episode Notes:

As anyone who is on social media can attest, the global pandemic associated with COVID-19 has given rise to misinformation and disinformation. While some bad information represents nothing more than the misguided efforts of scared people eager to latch onto any sort of news that gives them a sense of control, some of it represents the efforts of state and non-state actors to manipulate this crisis for political gain. Recent disinformation campaigns by state actors have sought to heighten preexisting polarization and tensions in the United States, in order to undermine trust in government, and to create doubt as to whether a truthful narrative can be known. The COVID pandemic has given malicious actors the opportunity to amplify those themes, and more.

To discuss this critical issue is Jessica Brandt, head of policy and research for the Alliance for Securing Democracy and a fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She was previously a fellow in the foreign policy program at the Brookings Institution, where her research focused on multilateral institutions and geopolitics, and where she led a cross-program initiative on democracy at risk. Jessica also previously served as special adviser to the president of the Brookings Institution, as an International and Global Affairs fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, and as the director of foreign relations for the Geneva Accord. You can follow her on Twitter at @Jessbrandt


[ 01:51 ] How big is the scope of the issue here?

[ 03:12 ] Which states are ramping up their efforts, in particular, and why?

[ 04:09 ] How would a consumer of news recognize disinformation if they come across it and what should they do about it?

[ 04:42 ] Where am I most likely to see disinformation?

[ 05:54 ] How are social media platforms dealing with the onslaught of disinformation?

[ 08:52 ] If I see a meme or a graphic showing what I believe to be false information should I assume that it is coming from a foreign government?

[ 09:48 ] Have China’s tactics changed in response to the virus, and if so, how?

Sign up now and start listening to "The WarCast"!
Already a member? Sign In to have access to our Warcasts