NATO StratCom COE research: Female Finnish Ministers Received a Disproportionate Number of Abusive Messages
17th March 2021
When the young and female leadership of the Cabinet of Ministers of Finland came into power in December 2019, they made international headlines as pioneers of gender equality in governance. At the same time, their election provoked online resistance in the form of abusive messages. Many assumptions about their political inexperience were accompanied by sexist and misogynistic language. NATO StratCom COE experts decided to conduct a study which part of this online activity was human-led and which – automated. Experts concluded that the messaging directed at Finnish government officials was largely free from automated activity. They found a number of users singularly focused on harassing the government. The bulk of abusive messaging originated from clusters of right-wing accounts.
21st February 2021
On December 2020, NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence (Latvia) and The National Defence University College of Information and Cyberspace (U.S.) signed a Memorandum of Understanding. This cooperation will help prepare leaders who are able to play critical role in various aspects of national security.
20th January 2021
Report "Data Broker and Security" takes a closer look at data brokers and the data industry to investigate how the commercial availability of data can be exploited and lead to security issues for military organisations such as NATO and its Allies. It aims both to provide an overview of the data broker industry and its procedures, and to discuss risks and vulnerabilities related to this industry. It also describes the proof-of-concept experiment conducted by researchers from the NATO StratCom COE who engaged with multiple data brokers and purchased consumer data from an analytics company, and then used red-team analysis to assess how such data can be exploited.
21st December 2020
At the height of the US 2020 Presidential elections, the social media accounts of two US Senators were easily manipulated using fake engagement bought from Russian social media manipulation outfits. We have published a new report “Social Media Manipulation 2020. How Social Media Companies are Failing to Combat Inauthentic Behaviour Online” that looks into an experiment and evaluates ability of social media platforms to counter manipulation.
14th December 2020
A new report focuses on Information Laundering practices from Kremlin and pro-Kremlin actors targeting the German media ecosystem. We analyse how domestic and foreign actors interact to enable the spread of pro-Kremlin influence in Germany, or to disseminate a particular image about Germany to foreign groups of audiences while laundering German news stories. This way, the Kremlin can strategically mislead audiences without incurring extensive political and military costs.
10th December 2020
NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence has published a report that focuses on Information Laundering in the Nordic-Baltic region. Previous NATO StratCom COE’s studies confirm that the Nordic-Baltic region (NB8) is exposed to attempts by foreign and domestic pro-Kremlin actors and their proxies to sway public opinion and consolidate influence in the region. Information Laundering (IL) plays a key role in this, allowing actors to manipulate information in a way that is difficult to detect and debunk.
12th November 2020
This paper analyses the scope and nature of the impact of security challenges in this region upon strategic communications, mainly for NATO and its member states. The study is based on the analysis of global and regional open sources regarding four key issues: terrorism, migration, illicit trafficking, and great power competition. The conclusions provide succinct recommendations on how to conduct an informed and successful STRATCOM campaign in the region.
12th November 2020
This project was initiated is an ongoing effort to monitor and analyse Russia’s (dis-)information influence in the Nordic-Baltic region, which includes Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden (the NB8). The first volume was published in January 2018. Since then, we have continued tracking trends in the information space of the NB8. On the basis of our regular biannual fact findings several trends have emerged.
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