Understanding Influence Operations

Countering influence operations requires a solid understanding of the exact nature of the problem. Influence operations do not occur as isolated phenomena. Rather, information operations occur in a dynamic, complex information environment where threat actors engage targeted audiences and adapt to changing security policies. Deepening understanding of influence operations demands a multi-faceted approach. PCIO works towards this by researching the subject using a multi-disciplinary and contextual approach that considers both the information operations and audience engagement, to attempt to measure the effects of influence operations. PCIO will also work to find methods to measure and evaluate influence operations countermeasures, while engaging in practical exercises to test policy and countermeasures through adversarial-designed exercises. Our work related to understanding influence operations can be found below:

  • Journal of Information Warfare Special Edition: This special issue was arranged to support the launch of PCIO. The seven articles explore the phenomenon of influence operations as it has developed in recent years and make an important contribution to forwarding the international debate on influence operations. 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.
  • Understanding Influence Operations with Twitter Data Workshop SeriesA series of virtual workshops co-hosted with Twitter to grant exceptional researchers the opportunity to present their cutting-edge work on IO datasets to a community of scholars and leading experts in IO. The aim of the workshops is to support an open exchange of ideas among the research community regarding how IO can be better understood, analyzed and mitigated. Learn more about the project and the submission process here.
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