Disinformation as a Contemporary Key Security Challenge in the Context of the Russian-Ukrainian Conflict
(Dezinformácie ako kľúčová bezpečnostná výzva súčasnosti v kontexte rusko-ukrajinského konfliktu)
Politické vedy, Volume 25, Number 3/2022, pages 87-109
Recommended form for quotation of the article / Odporúčaná forma citácie článku:
KOLLÁR, D. 2022. Dezinformácie ako kľúčová bezpečnostná výzva súčasnosti v kontexte rusko-ukrajinského konfliktu. In Politické Vedy. Vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 87-109. ISSN 1335 – 2741. Available at: https://doi.org/10.24040/politickevedy.2022.25.3.87-109
False information, as well as the actors who spread it, have the power to promote negative narratives about society and discredit the work of serious media, non-governmental organizations, etc. Concerns are growing around the world that international NGOs and civil society organizations are vulnerable to online attacks and disinformation campaigns. These attacks are aimed at instilling fear and confusion, stigmatizing civil society, disparaging targeted organizations and their leaders, or promoting inaccurate views. The deliberately misleading nature of false information can make it difficult to study and analyze this issue. After studying the available professional sources, we can state that most of the studies carried out so far focus on three aspects, namely (1) identification of forms of false information and false content, (2) causes and dynamics of their spread, especially on social networks, and (3) impact to public opinion. An objective of this article was to characterize and clarify all three aspects, while we have tried to apply them to a specific case in the second part of the paper, specifically Russian-Ukrainian war. The main cause, or the motive of the primary creators of disinformation is to cause chaos in society and undermine trust in the state, which is directly related to inciting hatred and distrust towards state institutions. Disinformation has become a hybrid tool as a form of attack on the interests of every democratic state and the security of its citizens. Foreign powers often try to spread their narratives through their own or friendly media, or fictitiously independent activists, while they often communicate differently internally within their own state. Based on our findings, coordination with three key players is crucial in the fight against disinformation: technology companies, civil society and fact-checkers and academic institutions. In addition, strategic communication is one of the key tools in the fight against disinformation and requires a broad approach. Disinformation campaigns are often not limited to spreading fake news, but often focus on building a damaging narrative. This implies a close relationship between the fight against disinformation and strategic communication, public diplomacy and digital communication.
Key words: Disinformation, Hybrid War, Hoax, Security, Media, Russia, Ukraine