While increasing media coverage is dedicated to how information is used to influence target audiences, a common terminology for describing these activities is lacking. This paper offers a literature review of terms currently used by industry, government, and media related to influence operations; analyses the challenges posed by many of these definitions for use in practical policy development; and ultimately argues for a broader definition of such.

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This article is part of a special issue of the Journal of Information Warfare. The issue was arranged to support the launch of the Partnership for Countering Influence Operations. The seven articles in this special issue explore the phenomenon of influence operations (IO) as it has developed in recent years and make a modest but important contribution to forwarding the international debate on IO. Drawing on a mixture of conceptual, empirical, and policy-oriented approaches, the authors represent a range of academic disciplines, methodologies, and perspectives. Far from being the final word, it is hoped that the articles in this collection will stimulate and stake out future directions for further research. For more information, please click here.