New State Department Report Identifies “Pillars of Russia’s Disinformation and Propaganda Ecosystem”

Global Engagement Center Russia Disinformation Pillars
Pillars of Russian Disinformation from the Global Engagement Center Report, August 2020.

The State Department’s Global Engagement Center released a report August 5, 2020 on the “Pillars of Russia’s Disinformation and Propaganda Ecosystem.” The release is part of an effort across the Department of State and entire U.S. Government to help our allies and partners understand and counter this threat from Russia.  The Global Engagement Center, which leads U.S. inter-agency efforts to proactively address foreign adversaries’ attempts to use disinformation and propaganda to undermine U.S. interests, is illuminating the dangers of Russian disinformation, especially in the context of COVID-19.

The report examines the five specific tactics, or pillars, that create Russia’s ecosystem of disinformation and propaganda. The five pillars are: Official Government Communications, State-Funded Global Messaging, the Cultivation of Proxy Sources, Weaponized Social Media, and Cyber-Enabled Disinformation. The report provides an understanding of how Russia has created a disinformation and propaganda ecosystem that operates as an informal network; and demonstrates how content produced and amplified by these sites enables the proliferation of disinformation and propaganda across other pillars of the ecosystem. This is an important step in exposing Russia’s dangerous tactics.

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Download the full report here.