Whoever studies misinformation and conspiracy myths related to COVID-19, 5G, and climate change quickly notices that this “information” is always being recombined, adjusted a bit, and evolved.
Professional campaigners recognize patterns similar to those that emerge when they work in voting and election campaigns with text modules that are created in advance as answers to all conceivable arguments and questions. These, too, are then adapted, further developed, and combined as needed. Such patterns caught our eye when we looked at the misinformation and conspiracy myths surrounding COVID-19 and 5G in March.
Therefore, we followed up and came across a University of Leeds publication titled “Conspiracy theories as a tool of Russian public diplomacy – the case of Russia Today.”
In summary, the article examines the “use of conspiracy theories by the Russian international television network Russia Today (RT). Drawing on Mark Fenster’s definition of conspiracy theory as a populist theory of power, the article examines the process by which various conspiratorial notions in the programs broadcast by RT legitimize Russian domestic and foreign policy and, in turn, delegitimize U.S. government policy. He argues that the conspiratorial component of RT’s broadcasts appears and is applied as a political tool in the context of the post-Cold War world to appeal to different global audiences with different political views.”
You wouldn’t have to care if Russia only interfered in the US. But whether intentionally or not, these conspiracy myths are spreading in Europe as well, because the Internet knows as few borders as SARS-CoV-2. But perhaps this is also intentional. The question is whether Russia would benefit from an increasing internal division and paralysis of the democracies of the West, or delays in the urgently needed renewal of our mobile communications infrastructure (5G). The fact that Russia benefits from climate change has already been confirmed by climate science and is already quite concretely demonstrated by the increasing absence of ice in the Arctic polar sea.
That is why this critically reviewed article by Kiril Avramov is also relevant:
“In analyzing the use of intelligence as an offensive weapon to help the current Kremlin administration achieve its foreign policy meta-goals and overcome its relative international isolation, we should be aware of the diverse arsenal of techniques ranging from the deliberate planting of disinformation in foreign media to the promotion of a steady supply of “alternative stories” and overtly both ontologically false and effective conspiracy theories in Russian mainstream media and social networks by its “powerful Internet troll army “, which are later picked up and endlessly duplicated and hybridized through various conventional and non-conventional media channels in Central and Eastern Europe and especially in the EU “periphery”. All these methods and tools bear the hallmarks of the “weaponization of information, culture, and money” approach,2 which radically departs from the so-called soft power strategy. It should be noted that this approach and its respective set of policy tools inherit the best of the Soviet-style psy-ops instruments of “active measures,” specifically the “dezinformatziya” measures that proved so successful in the Cold War era. In this essay, I will argue that the intensity of the dissemination of permanent targeted disinformation in the form of conspiracy theories led by diversified sources has increased in recent years and represents an important information aspect of hybrid warfare, as an offensive disinformation dissemination strategy, designed to pressure governments, policymakers, civilian organizations, and even individuals in selected countries at critical junctures that merit an innovative, intensive, collective, and coordinated strategic deterrence approach to counter their degrading national security implications. “
Without wishing to add another conspiracy theory to the world, we think this needs to be discussed. Because if, for example, opposition to pandemic control, 5G and climate protection is at least influenced by foreign countries, then we have the right to know this and to decide how we deal with it as a democratic society.
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