DISINFORMATION AND MISINFOMATION

 

Disinformation has already become a major challenge, even for the most powerful countries and organizations, including our allies – the United States, European Union and NATO. However, a reluctant approach to disinformation has already impacted the election results of several countries (such as the USA and the UK), has cost billions of euros and has even created preconditions for strengthening the overall social climate of insecurity.

 

According to the 2019 report by researchers at Oxford University,  the number of countries with political disinformation campaigns more than doubled to 70 in the last two years, with evidence of at least one political party or government entity in each of those countries engaging in social media manipulation.  In addition, Facebook remains the No. 1 social network for disinformation, the report said. Organized propaganda campaigns were found on the platform in 56 countries. Speaking of social media, a study conducted by MIT in 2018 has shown that disinformation travels on Twitter six times faster than facts. 

Silicon Valley giants often face scrutiny over the lack of regulation regarding misleading information being posted on social media platforms. After the heated 2020 U.S. presidential elections, CEOs of Facebook and Twitter were once again summoned to testify before Congress about their efforts to stop disinformation. 

Until recently, these problems have been treated in a perfunctory manner in Lithuania as well, even though our country is attacked by disinformation on a daily basis through cyber means and with a continuous flow of disinformation. These attacks range in tens of thousands of purposeful offences against the country and its society. Therefore, in order to build an effective national and personal security system, there has to be better coordination between the involved stakeholders. It is also crucial to create a set of rapid, efficient actions and measures. 

 

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