International affairs in the disinformation age


This report from the UK think tank The Foreign Policy Centre looks at disinformation on the global stage.

The current discussion about disinformation is focused very firmly on Trump’s election and the Brexit referendum. As critical as both issues are to the future of international stability, the emotion vested in both topics obscures rather than illuminates the impact disinformation has on the way influence is being wielded on the global stage. Somewhere between the United States (US)-led invasion of Iraq and the Arab uprisings against dictatorial rule, something fundamental in the way global audiences receive and react to information changed. Political insurgents had long been watching, waiting for a chance to challenge the established power of their enemies. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s number two at the time, famously declared in the early years of the 21st century that “more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media”.

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