The number of people and institutions working to counter influence operations has increased rapidly in the last few years. But there has been little effort to study this emerging field of international practitioners and researchers.
How have governments, tech companies, and nonprofits around the world sought to counter influence operations? What key lessons have emerged from the explosion in academic research? What structural barriers are preventing innovative policies from being implemented? How can different disciplines and sectors better collaborate on common goals?
The Partnership for Countering Influence Operations is releasing a series of data sets and short essays exploring these questions. Our baselines seek to synthesize key insights from the counter–influence operations field and highlight how the field can operate more effectively. We also hope that other researchers will use our data sets to make their own discoveries.
Social media and messaging platforms are de facto regulators of online speech and therefore key decisionmakers in combating online influence operations. In recent years, major platforms have begun maintaining public “community standards”—written policies on a wide range of problematic activity like hate speech, violence, and influence operations.
There has been a surge in announced interventions to counter influence operations over the last two years. But determining their effectiveness is tricky.
The PCIO has compiled media reporting and publications about influence operations into a public, searchable format, as well as a monthly email.
The number of organizations and projects focused on influence operations has grown dramatically in recent years. This growth is encouraging, but its pace brings challenges.
To achieve broad and enduring benefits, disparate groups working to combat influence operations need to build a more unified, professional field.
Existing policy recommendations on countering influence operations have set a general course for policymakers and laid the foundation for future research, but significant gaps and needs remain.