Of course the title of the Hungarian Spectrum article is ironic, not dismissive.
Moscow’s manipulation of “Information Space” beyond its boundaries is serious stuff, and the American public and other western democratic constituencies need to know it down to and through their grassroots.
Good examples of Russian manipulation can be seen in the Catalonian independence referendum and Brexit. Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis announced that his government had confirmed that a propaganda campaign intended to destabilize Spain came from Russia and Venezuela. They used Twitter, Facebook, and other internet sites to publicize the separatist cause and swing public opinion to support it.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh identified 419 accounts operating from the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) that attempted to influence British politics. Russian hackers also spread anti-Islamic sentiments in Great Britain after the recent terrorist attacks. According to The Guardian, hundreds of paid bloggers work around the clock at IRA “to flood Russian internet forums, social networks and the comments sections of western publications—sowing disinformation, praising the country’s president, Vladimir Putin, and raging at the west.” On Monday Theresa May addressed the issue in a speech, saying that Russia’s actions were “threatening the international order on which we all depend.”
Related on BackChannels
https://conflict-backchannels.com/2017/10/01/the-active-measures-links-page/ – a short and goofy primer that probably should have a more formal twin.
https://conflict-backchannels.com/2017/10/23/fake-news-genuine-fake-news-the-real-fake-news-get-your-fake-news-here/ – American mainstream journalism is “high-integrity professional” by design and training. BackChannels believes it has been an authoritarian ruse with some P. T. Barnum thrown in to sell alienated or struggling white Americans (for the most part) on the distrust of the mainstream (NOT “lamestream”) media.
Reliable, verifiable, and trusted news — “clear, accurate, and complete” — forms the very foundation of public impression and related decisionmaking, and to smear the entire industry bids only for absolute and tyrannical power. Around the world, however, what governments may withhold as secret from the press may not be known, or easily known, and from that comes a contest in democracies between governments and Real Press for general constituent and voter confidence in their elected government.
https://conflict-backchannels.com/2016/11/23/moscows-rules-a-module/ – a good natured primer on the world’s most cynical political regime.
https://conflict-backchannels.com/library/russian-section/ – a backgrounder in the form of a bibliography listing the most accessible and enjoyable volumes on Cold War history and related political mafia and disinformation (and much else). Highly recommended: Disinformation by Pacepa and Rychlak and the Agnia Grigas work on Crimea.
Call BackChannels the work of an obsessive curiosity by the most accidental tourist in political science and political psychology. I’d say the editor would be a senior in high school, perhaps a junior in college, at this point . . . perhaps a little more sophisticated for breadth of awareness of related elements across regions (“culture, conflict, language, and psychology”) and ability to get the connections just about right.
https://conflict-backchannels.com/coins-and-other-terms/anthropolitical-psychology/paranoid-delusional-narcissistic-reflection-of-motivation/ – if ever there was a psychological phenomenon or method accompanying the aggression of the murderous and tyrannical, the title gets it.
Related in Wikipedia
For the once-Soviet inspired, manipulated (and paid) Hard Political Left whose most privileged of the Party would regard the same with contempt for being pliable and useful idiots: