What’s Happening with Russian Disinformation

What we saw in the election in terms of Russian
interference was really just part of a much broader campaign to undermine democracy. And in part they’re doing that by undermining
faith and confidence in democratic institutions. So what I started to think about is, what
other institutions besides elections are as dependent on public faith and confidence in
the legitimacy of their outcomes to have any meaning in our democracy. And of course, I immediately thought of the
justice system. So the four key narrative messages or what
we call frames that Russia uses in its attacks against the justice system are: one, that
the justice system supports immigrants over Americans, protects immigrants. The second is that the justice system perpetuates
and enables the racist police state. The third is that the justice system facilitates,
enables, and empowers corrupt corporations. And the fourth is that the justice system
is a tool of the political elite. All of these are designed to say that the
justice system is not independent or impartial. There are lots of legitimate criticisms of the justice system, and Russia exploits legitimate grievances. What’s really important to keep in mind is that while judicial reform activists in this country are working to make our system better, to make us stronger, that is not Putin’s goal. Putin’s goal is to make us weaker. Among the things that we need to do to counter this
Russian disinformation campaign against democracy is to build public and institutional resilience
against that kind of messaging. That means promoting civics education and
civic engagement. We need to remember that democracy is not
inevitable, that we can’t be complacent, that we need to all understand how important it
is and how important it is to work to preserve it.

14 thoughts on “What’s Happening with Russian Disinformation

  1. Glad they don't mention the collusion bullsh#t. Some people are just smarter than others and can manipulate the sheep who do not think for themselves.

  2. As if American based think tanks weren't recommending politicians to exploit weaknesses of Russian and other countries political systems. The think tanks literally do this – they hire academics who look for wedges and rifts in the societies, that USA wants to influence, and they form a policy of targeting those weak points with campaigns and donations to certain proxy entities. How many taxpayers dollars were spent promoting 30th anniversary ot Tiananmen square events? Not because Americans care about the Chinese who lost their lives there, but because they have the agenda to undermine Chinese communist party. This is so shameless to play a victim, when the Americans were the ones who have invented this way of influencing other countries and continue to do so.

  3. Russia isn't undermining our institutions. Our institutions are undermining our institutions.

  4. The US has been undermining confidence in Governments around the world for decades. The sad fact is that Western democracy is being undermined from within. Russia just exerts some leverage.

  5. U.S. must to walk away from RUSSIA with its Central Bank. U.S. stands up for fascism…

  6. The problem with the solution is the fact that corporations and the rich in America are also working hard to undermine democracy and the acceptance of it's institutions by the populations. Just look and see what is going on with every branch of this administration, the Justice Department and the Supreme Court. The Russians, the American corporations and the American rich have common goals … only the purpose is different.

  7. The story that everybody is missing is that Russia achieved an amazing victory by truly asymmetric methods against the US while the US spends 15 times the money on defense as the Russians. (Check our Anthony Cordesman's CSIS article on US Defense strategy). So are we Americans getting our money's worth?

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