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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Autocracies Are Winning the Information War

Autocracies Are Winning the Information War

And the American craving for drama is helping them.

By Tom Nichols, The Atlantic 

Propaganda for American Tastes

Back in 2017, I was asked by the State Department to give a series of lectures on disinformation to audiences in various cities in the Czech Republic. (I wrote about it here.) I was stunned, even then, at how the European information environment was poisoned by a deluge of Russian propaganda—including the obvious cross-pollination between Russians and malevolent actors in the United States. This global problem, Anne Appelebaum writes in our new cover story, has since gotten much worse.

As Anne points out, the Chinese, the Russians, and others are on a propaganda offensive around the world, even in places that most Americans don’t pay much attention to. She described how a European diplomat was “mystified” to find students in Africa parroting Russian talking points about the war in Ukraine. “He grasped for explanations,” she writes: “Maybe the legacy of colonialism explained the spread of these conspiracy theories, or Western neglect of the global South, or the long shadow of the Cold War.”

More here (no paywall) >

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