From a Neo-Liberal propaganda outlet:
As many countries have found, the pandemic has spawned a new breed of disinformation, which has spread as rampantly as the virus. This is not only from usual suspects but also from new actors, who are copying Moscow and Beijing’s methods. Private sector organisations are using a commercial offering known as “disinformation as a service” to conduct malign influence operations against their competitors.
The results are alarmingly obvious. Disputes about Covid-19 and the vaccines to fight it are already dividing populations. And just as the minority of people who refuse vaccines undermine wider efforts to stamp out the virus, a minority of citizens can ruin their countries’ resilience against adversaries by believing the damaging falsehoods spread by the other side. The rumour unleashed by Russia’s KGB in the 1980s that the US army created HIV — which is still in circulation now — shows the lasting harm of an eye-catching campaign. The Covid pandemic has been fuelled by the fact many people believe anti-vax disinformation and distrust messaging from their own governments. Just imagine the effect that incendiary disinformation could have on the current stand-off between Russia and Nato.
Public trust in the government is the Achilles heel of western democracies seeking to defend themselves against innovative adversaries. Disinformation aimed at weakening public confidence in its military forces or political leadership can have a potent destabilising effect. The US’s deep social and ideological divisions may be rooted in its domestic political history, but Moscow’s disinformation campaign ahead of the 2016 presidential election helped to sow doubt about America’s democratic institutions. Read more…