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posted by hubie on Monday March 20 2023, @08:26AM   Printer-friendly

Organizations must educate themselves and their users on how to detect, disrupt, and defend against the increasing volume of online disinformation:

More and more, nation-states are leveraging sophisticated cyber influence campaigns and digital propaganda to sway public opinion. Their goal? To decrease trust, increase polarization, and undermine democracies around the world.

In particular, synthetic media is becoming more commonplace thanks to an increase in tools that easily create and disseminate realistic artificial images, videos, and audio. This technology is advancing so quickly that soon anyone will be able to create a synthetic video of anyone saying or doing anything the creator wants. According to Sentinel, there was a 900% year-over-year increase in the proliferation of deepfakes in 2020.

It's up to organizations to protect against these cyber influence operations. But strategies are available for organizations to detect, disrupt, deter, and defend against online propaganda. Read on to learn more.

[...] As technology advances, tools that have traditionally been used in cyberattacks are now being applied to cyber influence operations. Nation-states have also begun collaborating to amplify each other's fake content.

These trends point to a need for greater consumer education on how to accurately identify foreign influence operations and avoid engaging with them. We believe the best way to promote this education is to increase collaboration between the federal government, the private sector, and end users in business and personal contexts.

There are four key ways to ensure the effectiveness of such training and education. First, we must be able to detect foreign cyber influence operations. No individual organization will be able to do this on its own. Instead, we will need the support of academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and other entities to better analyze and report on cyber influence operations.

Next, defenses must be strengthened to account for the challenges and opportunities that technology has created for the world's democracies — especially when it comes to the disruption of independent journalism, local news, and information accuracy.

Another element in combating this widespread deception is radical transparency. We recommend increasing both the volume and dissemination of geopolitical analysis, reporting, and threat intelligence to better inform effective responses and protection.

Finally, there have to be consequences when nation-states violate international rules. While it often falls on state, local, and federal governments to enforce these penalties, multistakeholder action can be leveraged to strengthen and extend international norms. For example, Microsoft recently signed onto the European Commission's Code of Practice on Disinformation along with more than 30 online businesses to collectively tackle this growing challenge. Governments can build on these norms and laws to advance accountability.

Ultimately, threat actors are only going to continue getting better at evading detection and influencing public opinion. The latest nation-state threats and emerging trends show that threat actors will keep evolving their tactics. However, there are things organizations can do to improve their defenses. We just need to create holistic policies that public and private entities alike can use to combat digital propaganda and protect our collective operations against false narratives.


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  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday March 21 2023, @02:55AM (6 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 21 2023, @02:55AM (#1297325) Journal

    All that debating and argumentation can prove is who is better at debating.

    Only if you ignore what is debated. Debate and argumentation aren't just words. It also includes support for claims made. That's where you catch the lies.

    Furthermore, a lot of the time those people who scream: "debate me bro!" aren't doing so in good faith, and will use deceptive tactics like Gish Galloping to give the appearance of substance where there is none.

    How do you know that gish galloping is a thing? Perhaps you recognize when someone does it? My take is that if someone is gish galloping in a discussion, then that's a huge warning sign that they're lying about the whole thing and well, that's that. They aren't "better at debating" at that point.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 21 2023, @06:59AM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 21 2023, @06:59AM (#1297362)
    And at that point, they will have succeeded in making you look bad and you will look like you have "lost" the debate even though they didn't actually raise any facts or logical points. The whole point is that debating is more of an exercise in public relations than anything else. As I have repeatedly emphasised, debate cannot establish facts. If you do it in good faith a debate can at most decide opinions on what ought to be. You cannot debate facts!
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday March 21 2023, @01:55PM (4 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 21 2023, @01:55PM (#1297391) Journal

      And at that point, they will have succeeded in making you look bad and you will look like you have "lost" the debate even though they didn't actually raise any facts or logical points.

      If you let people walk all over you with ridiculous fallacies, then you're doing it wrong.

      As I have repeatedly emphasised, debate cannot establish facts.

      Except, of course, when the other side acknowledges them - even implicitly. Standard adversarial debate tactics.

      If you do it in good faith a debate can at most decide opinions on what ought to be. You cannot debate facts!

      Facts aren't important in themselves. They only matter in this situation in how they can support or detract from an argument. That's why I emphasize evidence not facts.

      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 21 2023, @02:48PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 21 2023, @02:48PM (#1297402)
        Lovely how you dance around the main point like a true master debater. Again, the point is, are you interested in actually knowing the truth, or just convincing people you might have it, whether you do or not? If it's the latter, then debate all you like. There are better ways to do the former.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 21 2023, @07:16PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 21 2023, @07:16PM (#1297443)

          Summarized the entire career of right wing spewbots. Just restart the same conversations over and over disregarding any previous conversations. Points disproven? Who cares! Remake the same points with a new audience - if nobody can disprove you, you win! Nothing learned, no intent to learn anything, bad faith argument.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday March 21 2023, @09:04PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 21 2023, @09:04PM (#1297465) Journal

            Just restart the same conversations over and over disregarding any previous conversations. Points disproven? Who cares! Remake the same points with a new audience - if nobody can disprove you, you win! Nothing learned, no intent to learn anything, bad faith argument.

            Excellent example of the practice in action. I wouldn't call this hypocrisy because it's a valuable lesson to anyone who pays attention.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday March 21 2023, @09:02PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 21 2023, @09:02PM (#1297464) Journal

          Lovely how you dance around the main point like a true master debater. Again, the point is, are you interested in actually knowing the truth, or just convincing people you might have it, whether you do or not?

          Sorry, that doesn't sound like a point much less a main one. Why ask that question at all? You've already hinted at some ability to distinguish between a sincere argument and a gish galloping one. Use that ability here.

          There are better ways to do the former.

          Like assume you're right and not listen to anyone perhaps? Set up a network of disinformation?

          The problem with this is that at some point, if you're talking about anything beyond your personal reach and interests, that requires any sort of cooperation from people with very different beliefs and interests - possibly even direct conflict, you need to resort to debate and argumentation. You need to convince people not whine about the lack of truth seeking mechanisms.