TEO, Russia, White House discussed on The Sunday Show


Thehe, Lithia Group and author of True Or False, A CIA analyst guide to spotting Fake news. I talked with her to understand more about who the foreign threats are. Today. The National security community has a responsibility to lay out publicly. All the threats is they see them, And so it's absolutely accurate to say that It's not just Russia out there. Using disinformation is a tool in a tactic to advance, you know, a particular foreign policy goal. China, Iran, Saudi countries like that are increasingly seeing The effectiveness of using disinformation and because they themselves have you know a domestic capabilities where they use propaganda, Teo, you know, control their own populations and limit freedom's at home. They do already sort of have that capability that they confront turn to advance their their foreign objectives as well. So it's accurate to say that you know these other countries are involved as well. But they're going about it in very different ways, and they also have very different levels of capability. Russia is on the more sophisticated end of the foreign actors that are out there trying to use disinformation. They learned a lot from 2016 about how to cover their tracks better. They've shifted some of their tactics and refined their their capabilities to be effective. And then you have you know a country like China, for example. Which uses very overt means, Teo, you know, spread false information and conspiracy theories about very particular areas of concern for them. So we see them, you know, use things like social media influencers, their own government run media, etcetera, very overtly to push back and to spread false information about the krone virus pandemic, for example, or to push back on what they see is damaging rhetoric from the White House. On things like the trade, the trade issues tic tac, etcetera. So there's there's a foreign government piece. And then there's also these foreign commercial entities as well that have popped up, particularly in recent years. INE, for example, Southeast Asia Eastern Europe that call themselves things like PR firms or digital marketing firms. They sell things like troll farms that you can hire to wage you know, online influence campaigns, So we know disinformation is being used by both foreign and domestic networks to sow distrust. Course looming over all of this is the fact that we're about two months away from presidential election an election that we might not know the results of on election night in which President Donald Trump has without evidence. Continually suggested could be rigged. One thing about all of this that concerns me is what will fill the vacuum who will be out there debunking false claims. Once election night is over. We don't have the resources at this point. We simply don't. We've learned a lot in the United States in the last couple of years, But we haven't entirely put all of the resources in place in terms ofthe both within the social media companies at the federal government level. Ah, a lot of a lot of what is happening is that these two sort of sides of things are differing or Relying on the media, nonprofits, academic institutions, disinformation researchers to do a lot of the combating investigation and messaging themselves, which is just it's it's not a fair position to put these people into first of all, because they're not usually given the resource is as well to do that kind of role. They're doing it for free. In most cases, and it's just not sustainable with the amount of content that were we experience on a daily basis and will see throughout the election and afterwards. So you know, I think we're going to see exactly the kinds of things that you mentioned pictures going viral. They're taken out of context, or, you know, were snapped by a really actual person. At the moment, they claim, Teo, you know, be taking the picture, but it's completely you know, they're they're making conclusions that aren't accurate. They're making linkages and that sort of thing. Yeah, it's it is going to be a challenge for anybody. But you're right. The idea that either not profits or even the Serve traditional mainstream media. Can they do enough? Do you think to kind of prepare Americans for this moment? Or do you think that because their influence is just not as powerful as it, Walt Wass. That it's going to reach some people, but that the social media platforms reach many more. I mean, it's really going to take a whole of community effort, and I haven't seen that coming together yet where you know, mainstream. Media outlets are partnering with tech platforms and partnering with government civil society, etcetera to put out consistent messaging. About some of the things that we outline, So you know, we're not going to necessarily know the election results in maybe any of the elections that you have voted in right in any of the races that you voted in right on Election day. This is going to take some time. Here's how the process works. Here is how mail in voting works. Here's how absent he works. This is legitimate. This is you know, but it's a process to help educate people that then when they see the claims of No tampering, Or will my candidate one on election day. But now you're saying they didn't win because of what I've been told, is a rigged process. You know, we're just in such dangerous territory when we're not doing that sort of consistent messaging to help educate people ahead of time so that they notice to spot these things or to question the kinds of narratives. They will absolutely be seeing on election day and afterwards and that's your 0.2 rights and that it can't just be Facebook alone. And it can't just be the media alone or a group like yours, saying these things there needs to be a coordinated effort, but that seems unlikely. Would this be different if there were different leadership at the White House? Or is it even more complicated than that? I do think it would be different if it hasn't been a priority for this administration for various reasons, and without some sort of overarching coordinating mechanism, bringing all of the relevant parties together. Coming up with a strategy and then implementing that strategy many, many months in advance of an event like this, it's going to turn out exactly as it has, which is multiple different groups trying to do multiple different things and hoping that it has some positive effect. A TTE the end of the day, you know, in the disinformation community, there's a lot of coordination that takes place, but it is very You know, it is very fractured. At times, it could end up being very niche where you know we sort of scurry off and go work on our relevant piece..

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