Academics Propose “5D” Toolkit to Battle Online PsyOps

In a recent Op-Ed in DefenseOne, communications researchers Larissa Doroshenko of Northeastern University and Josephine Lukito of the University of Texas at Austin propose the western hemisphere must understand the “5D” toolkit to detect and counter psychological operations online. The 5D’s are distort, distract, dismiss, deny, and dismay.

In “Trollfare: How to Recognize and Fight Off Online PsyOps,” Doroshenko and Lukito say it is necessary for the United States and its allies to track disinformation across social media platforms, including social media, blogs on hosts such as LiveJournal, messenger apps like Viber and Telegram, and fraudulent websites that masquerade as legitimate media outlets. They urge the employment of local and regional experts who have a keener understanding of the history, culture, and politics in an area to help anticipate and detect increases in disinformation production. The authors also propose ideas for countering such disinformation campaigns, including the promotion of reputable Western-bsed news sources in Eastern European regions and working with digital media companies to shut down accounts and users that create and perpetuate disinformation campaigns.