What does it mean to “win the information war”? During the Russian invasion of Ukraine, headlines have proclaimed Ukraine to be “winning” its information war against Russia. But what is an information war? Is it a fancy name for propaganda? Does it also include, for example, controlling the flow of information to open source platforms (which can then be geolocated using Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) techniques)? What might future information war mean in a world of the metaverse and Extended Reality (XR)?

Want to learn more about information war? Check out our infographic below (click for a bigger version):

What do our readers think? We recently published a report titled European Voices for Healthier Democracies: Combatting Disinformation, Misinformation & Fake News. We involved 54 young people (aged 18-35) from our community, hailing from across the EU, and asked them about their experiences with disinformation, misinformation, and trust in information.

During one focus group, Marta from Poland told us:

I was a big fan of social media when it was starting years ago, but it starts to scare me more and more [because algorithms lead people into] a very weird parallel universe of information

While Antonia from Germany said she thought the COVID-19 pandemic had made the situation worse for many people:

In the Covid pandemic, a lot of people fell into the fake news hole and really started to create their own truth… It’s not just believing some facts, but really not trusting anything anymore that comes out of official sources. It’s been getting more and more, it doesn’t stop.

Is Marta right to be scared? How can we get people out of these ‘fake news’ holes that Antonia talks about?

To get a response, we put Marta and Antonia’s comments to panelists during Friends of Europe’s recent event on “21st century warfare: a whole of society approach to resilience”.

Responding were Chris Kremidas-Courtney, Senior Fellow for Peace, Security and Defence at Friends of Europe, and Hanna Linderstål, CEO and Founder of the Swedish data company Earhart Business Protection Agency, which tracks online disinformation and cyber-threats. You can see what they said in the video above.

Is Europe ready for an information war? Should we be scared by the influence of social media algorithms on politics and society? How can we get people out of ‘fake news’ holes Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: BigStock – (c) LupascoRoman
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

35 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar

    Europe is already participating by spreading gender and race propaganda

  2. avatar

    . La bonne information n’est plus sur la presse officielle detenue par les milliardaires.

  3. avatar
    JT HK

    EU Parliament members appear to welcome fake information fabricated by BBC reporter for anti-China so as to paralyze Europe China investment required for post-Covid social and economic recovery. I see such irrational and reckless decision of the EU Parliament serves UK and US interest instead of Europe.

  4. avatar

    Lol West Europe is well known to fake the news properly

    • avatar

      Maybe in Russia. May you give any example of such fake news?

    • avatar

      Always so funny, Russians who are talking about the reliability of journalism in West Europe. They never come up with relevant examples either. Bunch of losers!

    • avatar

      what are you doing here, on Western media? I’ll report you to the FSB!!!

  5. avatar

    Signs of disinformation are clear – it’s censoring the opposite view, insisting “the debate is over” while it never took place, or pushing the antiscientific slogans “science is settled”, “trust the science” in cases where scientific evidence is scarce at most. I mean COVID19 and CO2/climate issues.

  6. avatar

    I see still Covididiots, so what a Question ;)

    • avatar

      we call the mask-tards ‘Branch Covidians’. Suits the cult like worship of fear better.

  7. avatar

    Looking at the media today,is clear now,why our grandparents wiped their down-parts at the toilet with the newspapers…

  8. avatar

    This war has been going on for two years now with the “kOVID FOLLIES” number. “UKRAINE” is just a sequel. We’re up to it for many of us.

    • avatar

      eeeh, sorry, but you ARE the one making the war 😂

    • avatar

      I’m just stating facts. I do not read Closer.

    • avatar

      don’t drink that much vodka, dear

    • avatar

      Darling, do not listen to the soft music of propaganda too much.

  9. avatar

    Oui, beaucoup de désinformation, avec les médias alignés et la censure qui tourne à fond.Mais la vérité triomphera toujours

  10. avatar

    You mean am I ready for you to dictate to me, what I should hear or think and believe by my judgment? No.

  11. avatar

    All news is coloured to serve a purpose.

  12. avatar

    Es gibt doch längst das Natopapier Cognitive warfare. Wo gewarnt wird das der Krieg der letzte sein kann (wahrscheilnlich wird) weil er mit dem absoluten Sieg enden kann in dem alle (auch die Feinde) das denken was der Gewinner will.

  13. avatar

    They seem to have found this page fast enough

  14. avatar

    “Information” and “Social media” just cannot coexist.

  15. avatar

    Tumia Januari 2021:Therefore Prof. Dr. Theo Schetters is correct concerning this very important aspect in the debate about mass vaccination of healthy people with an adequate and non compromised immune system, but the Belgian Flemish state broadcaster Vrt and other Flemish and Dutch “factcheckers” spread partial and therefore misleading information about this aspect by which they push the mass vaccination agenda:http://tumia.org/en/directory/en/instance.php?tiname=The%20very%20Dubious%20Worldwide%20Covid%20and%20Vaccination%20Agenda&tiname_sel=&relationship=All&drsid=0&pisid=0&tiname_dno=1&page=1
    [PHOTO] https://external-man2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/safe_image.php?w=396&h=296&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dongo.org%2Ffoto_s__nl%2Fde_belgische_vlag__nl.jpg&ext=emg0&utld=dongo.org&_nc_oe=705bd&_nc_sid=505865&_nc_o2e=1&ccb=3-6&_nc_hash=AQGLruuv5NP0wKXv

  16. avatar

    This war is running and it’s driven by the media!

  17. avatar

    laat ons uit europa gaan veel mensen willen eruit brengt niks dan armoede en leed voor veel mensen en eiegen volk word he armst

  18. avatar

    The information war has been going on for some years already. The biggest challenge is actually that some want to claim to represent the one and only truth and exclude others from a debate; claiming others have the wrong opinion.This means that it is already on a wrong path.

  19. avatar

    The ww4 is on since 73 leaded by the most decadent country… US

  20. avatar

    The media is no longer unbiased, objective or challenging. It is pure mind-manipulating trash and used for pushing agendas.

  21. avatar

    Information war is a very vast subject. We just learn to figure it out…
    I noticed that a big part of those who are today pro-Rusia and pro whatever Putin is doing, they also spread a lot of anxious ideas and unrealistic concerns about vaccines and measurements against covid on internet.
    As we know Russia, China and other undemocratic countries were reluctant to use western vaccines.
    You have to find the sources of such anti-democracy, anti-normality, anti-science!

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