ARENA's Directors, together with Professor Nicholas Cull of USC Annenberg and Annenberg Visiting Fellow Vassily Gatov, co-authored a 70-page study for Google subsidiary Jigsaw. The study took a closer look at eleven examples of Cold War responses to Soviet disinformation and influence campaigns, and drew lessons for today. An executive summary is available here. The full report is available on request
Examining Russian Efforts to Impact the German Federal Elections 2017
Press Release September 2017 – Initial Analysis of Influence Operations in German Elections
LONDON - Since June 2017, the ISD (Institute for Strategic Dialogue) and the Arena Project at the Institute of Global Affairs, LSE, have monitored foreign attempts to influence the German elections. Our preliminary research findings show that a network of pro-Russian and international far-right groups actively spread messages and memes designed to undermine mainstream parties and promote the AfD. Their activity grew especially pronounced in the final weeks of the campaign. We will be publishing a full report on social media and the German elections within the coming weeks, but in the meantime, click the link above for some of our initial conclusions.
Part of Arena’s mission is to spark a wider conversation about the issues that concern us. Over the past few months, the Arena staff have been spoken at conferences and events on disinformation, propaganda and so-called “fake news”.
Anne Applebaum, Co-Director of Arena and Professor of Practice at LSE testified on this issue at the European parliament, recently took part in a presentation for the board of the National Endowment for Democracy and met with a range of government and tech industry leaders. She gave a talk on these issues at the Oslo Freedom Forum. You can see a video of that speech.
Peter Pomerantsev, Co-Director of Arena and Visiting Senior Fellow at the LSE put forward the idea of the "post-modern politician" in an animated opinion piece for BBC Newsnight. In June, he was hosted in conversation with Ivan Krastev, discussing "Truth in Times of War" at the IWM in Vienna. In July, Peter spoke at Almedelan Week, one of the most important forums for Swedish politics, on the topic of audience trust. A recording of that conversation with Craig Silverman is available.
Alistair Shawcross, Programmes Manager at Arena, took part in a panel on “fake news” in Copenhagen. In May, Alistair attended the Point conference in Sarajevo where he spoke on "fake news" and propaganda. Most recently, Alistair attended the fourth annual meeting of fact-checkers in Madrid.