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wiczipedia464 karma

Awesome question, thank you so much for asking! I think for more reddit users these will be pretty simple, but...

  1. Check the source- if you're looking at a website and it seems shady or is new to you: does it have an editorial masthead? Does it have contact info (a phsyical address and phone number)? Has the author written anything before, and is their portfolio similar in terms of its editorial integrity?
  2. Has the article been printed anywhere else? Drop a line into Google and see if the same text appears on other websites- this is a good indication of a for-profit disinfo or misinfo network.
  3. Reverse image search! Misattributed images are huge during times of crisis. Everyone should know how to reverse image search. This is an in depth guide. https://www.bellingcat.com/resources/how-tos/2019/12/26/guide-to-using-reverse-image-search-for-investigations/

wiczipedia226 karma

Yes, an intermediate goal is to promote discord and division, but in service of what?

I see Russia's influence operations as having three goals, broadly.

  1. The Kremlin wants to keep us (the West, broadly) turned inward, distracted by our domestic problems, so that we aren't paying attention to Russia's adventurism around the world, whether in Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, or even within Russia's own borders, where human rights abuses have been rampant.
  2. The Kremlin hopes to drive disengagement in the democratic process by flooding the zone with information. Democracy doesn't work without participation, and failing democracies pose less of a threat to Putin's authoritarian rule.
  3. Putin hopes to return Russia to great power status- and I think he's been pretty successful in this regard. Despite not having a very strong economy, Russia is back on the world stage. The West has discussed it every day for the past four years. And even though Putin hasn't absolved of his transgressions (such as the illegal annexation of Crimea), leaders like Trump and Macron are considering inviting him back to the G7.

wiczipedia202 karma

Hi all, sorry for delay- power outage here but I'm back :)

You're absolutely right! Information overload or a "firehose of falsehood" (as the RAND Corp calls it) is part of the strategy.

I think in part, the media needs to do a good job distilling information and laying it out for people. A great example of this is the series that PBS Newshour did distilling the Mueller report for those that didn't want to slog through it in print. That's the sort of thing more outlets need to be doing- and public journalism is really good at it. I'm a huge advocate for journalism as a public good, and hope we as a country start to invest in it more. We only spend $3 per person per year on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. We can do so much better, and provide quality information to people who might otherwise live in news deserts (NPR and PBS provide some of the only local coverage in some parts of the country).

wiczipedia176 karma

Steak Umm has been great! (Bless) https://twitter.com/steak_umm

On the more academic / activist side, I like the work of Data & Society a whole lot: https://datasociety.net/

wiczipedia153 karma

This is an awesome question! I always recommend talking/chatting the person privately (as opposed to leaving a public comment or responding to a tweet). Opening with a nonconfrontational question is a great way to start- something like "This is interesting- why does it resonate with you?"- then gently pointing out the inconsistencies in the information. I find that linking to fact checking sites in particular tends to put people on edge- instead just speak from your own experience and knowledge and make it human. Good luck!