Battle for information dominance I — the fog of dis-information
While Russia may have tampered with the 2016 US elections employing information warfare tactics, it isn’t the only culprit that created the fog of disinformation.
The fog enabled a hate-filled bipolar society in US and questioned the integrity of its media.
The words information warfare, dis-information, mis-information, propaganda war, cyber-war and others like them have proliferated the mainstream media ever since the allegations of Russian influence on the 2016 US Presidential elections came about.
Are the allegations of Russian interference true? Well, realistically speaking, what country with as much global influence as Russia or China have, would not attempt to influence other countries’ decision making towards their advantage? If we look at US history post second world war, it is filled with cases of getting its hands dirty in other countries’ elections. It’s unrealistic to think that Russia didn’t attempt to influence. But, to what extent is a more significant question.
The various media that talk about information warfare reflect their opinions in the way they narrate Russian attempts. It’s a challenge in itself to filter out legit information from the fog of disinformation that exists to counter Russian influence. But, any elections that comes around, one or two articles warn about potential Russian interference just like the boogeyman stories we heard growing up.
The fog of dis-information
While the blame game continues, it is pertinent to understand that Russia wasn’t the only actor that attempted to influence the 2016 US elections. The other stakeholders included the democratic party election campaigners, republican party election campaigners, mainstream media, and the American intelligence community (FBI, CIA, NSA).
You’re probably having a duh’ expression on your face, wondering why is this even a point.
The point is, this makes for four other stakeholders that attempted to influence the voters. In other words, these five groups did their share to add to the fog of dis-information and misinformation, which was to either convince or confuse the public.
Both the democratic and republican parties’ campaigners used their share of propaganda tactics, which included cyber armies that crawled social medias snowballing the platforms with biased information. The mainstream media, as a market place that tends to benefit from certain political party in power, also added to the fog. Fox News and CNN are prime examples of this. Last but not least is the American Intelligence community. The FBI and the CIA, in the midst of their turf battles, also added to the fog.
The unintended consequence of this battle is that America, which was once a land of opportunities for immigrants, is now a hate filled bi-polar society with questioning integrity of main stream media and the intelligence agencies.