Influence operations are a complex threat, and the community combating them—academics, social platforms, think tanks, governments—is broad. The goal of the Partnership for Countering Influence Operations (PCIO) is to foster evidence-based policymaking to counter threats in the information environment. Key roadblocks as found in our work include the lack of: transparency reporting to inform what data is available for research purposes; rules guiding how data can be shared with researchers and for what purposes; and an international mechanism for fostering research collaboration at-scale.
Authoritarian governments are leading the push at the UN to develop international norms. Democracies should deploy existing UN codes to provide alternatives.
They should take a page from Putin’s own playbook.
Despite the shared nature of these challenges, investigators in the Global South face the greatest shortfalls of capacity, funding, attention, and other support. And those in unstable or authoritarian countries face unique threats to their safety and freedom.
Research shows that fact-checking can reduce the harmful impacts of false information. But beyond that, we know relatively little about the efficacy of counter-influence measures being implemented or considered by platforms, governments, and civil society.
As cybersecurity threats grow, democracies should avoid borrowing the authoritarians’ playbook. Here’s what democracies need in developing a cyber strategy of their own.
Social media platforms generally rely on human moderation to remove prohibited content. Yet what if moderation could happen before content is even posted?