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18.06.

2017 25 ways of combatting propaganda without doing counter­propaganda | EU vs Disinformation

25 ways of combatting propaganda without doing


counter-propaganda
Jun 14, 2017 | News and analysis

Last week, the Director of the French Institut de recherche strategique de l’Ecole militaire (IRSEM), which is part of the
French Defence Ministry, took to a subject little researched: how to combat pro-Kremlin propaganda without falling into
the trap of doing counter-propaganda? Counter-propaganda would be an ill-suited means for Western democracies to
fend o쿤� the e쿤�ects of disinformation activities, argues Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer. It would also require more means
than “any European government is ready to bring up”.

Director Jeangène Vilmer makes 25 proposals for countering pro-Kremlin disinformation without doing counter-
propaganda:

1 – Clearly distinguish between disinformation, propaganda and public diplomacy to avoid the argument that
“everything is propaganda”. While every country can defend their points of view, the author argues, the “intentional
falsication of information” must be condemned.
2 – Do not demonize Russia, but focus on ghting disinformation.
3 – Raise awareness of the importance of the issue.
4 – Recognise there can be information activities that straddle the preconceived divisions between information warfare
and military action, including cyber-attacks, political communication, election interference and disinformation.
5 – Strengthen the research on this issue from all sides, including ministries, universities, think-tanks and the press.
6 – Recognise the limits of a purely state-driven response to disinformation. It will always be suspected of being biased.
Civil society must also be involved.
7 – Acknowledge the limits of debunking. Establishing the facts is necessary, but it itself not su춶�cient. This is particularly
true given that the aim of pro-Kremlin disinformation has been described as “undermining the notion of objective truth
and the very possibility of doing journalism”.
8 – Develop programmes to educate citizens in media literacy.

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18.06.2017 25 ways of combatting propaganda without doing counter­propaganda | EU vs Disinformation

9 – Promote a widely shared convention of journalism ethics.


10 – Adapt the response to the audience. Respond with infotainment-style content for those who can only “consume
entertaining information”.
11- Encourage independent Russian media.
12 – Translate the articles written by independent Russian voices. This could contribute to showing that RT and Sputnik
are not the only Russian points of view.
13 – Build up networks with independent Russian journalists.
14 – Use the testimony of whistleblowers who have left the propaganda machine. They can reveal the methods used.
15 – Make use of the latest technology to research how fact-checking and identication of online trolls can be
automatized.
16 – Reinforce the EU’s East StratCom Task Force with funds and sta쿤� and distribute its products more widely.
17 – Encourage EU Member States to develop national mechanisms to combat disinformation. While some have already
starts this endeavour, having a national centre against disinformation facilitates the quick response to disinformation
stories.
18 – Reinforce the cooperation between states, the European Union and NATO in this eld. Avoid overlap and
duplication of e쿤�orts.
19 – When debunking disinformation, also expose the propaganda methods used. Familiarise users with those methods
so they can detect them elsewhere.
20 – Track the nancing of “anti-European propaganda”.
21 – Create an international NGO dedicated to the ght against disinformation, like Reporters without Borders or
Transparency International. It could rank media according to the trustworthiness of their reporting.
22 – Consider, if needed, more restrictive counter measures, including nes, sanctions and blocking in certain cases.
23 – Combat also the e쿤�ects of disinformation by strengthening EU and NATO solidarity, social cohesion, democracy
and respect of human rights.
24 – Communicate more in Russian, especially on social media.
25 – Defend European values and develop a positive narrative about the European Union.

Read the full study (in French)

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18.06.2017 25 ways of combatting propaganda without doing counter­propaganda | EU vs Disinformation

Menu
Home

News and analysis

The Disinformation Review

Newsletter archive

East Stratcom Task Force FAQ

Recent posts
The world in black and white

25 ways of combatting propaganda without doing counter-propaganda

Buy likes and friends!

How disinformation made Russia fall out of love with Germany

MH17 disinformation: back in the headlines

EU vs Disinformation
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реагирования на дезинформацию. Организатором кампании выступает рабочая группа East StratCom,
учрежденная по результатам обсуждения необходимости реагирования на продолжающуюся кампанию
дезинформации со стороны России главами государств и правительств ЕС в марте 2015 года.

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