This article seeks to explore the concept of disinformation, its impact on current events, and how average citizens can be cognizant of, recognize, and learn to avoid its harmful effects. Specifically, we will discuss the growing trend of state-sponsored disinformation campaigns, their goals, and several recent examples of them.

This is an expansive and incredibly complex topic to cover and we hope to not reduce, downplay, or generalize any of the issues, themes, or sub-topics herein, while also not belaboring any points already known to the readership.

We’re already embattled

The New York Times recently reported, citing several officials briefed on recent U.S. intelligence, that Russian SVR intelligence operatives have increased their efforts to inflame racial tension in the U.S. in order to influence November’s presidential election.

Specifically, Russian disinformation would be used to incite violence by white supremacists and stoke anger among African Americans over institutional and societal racism. In short, Russian intelligence would focus on vulnerable populations and manipulate them in support of desired outcomes. Their weapon of choice: social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.