disinformation

Digital rights: a necessary, yet not sufficient framework

Spain’s Government set in for the first time, in June 2020, the elaboration process of the Charter on Digital Rights with an Expert Group composed of jurists, users’ representatives, academics, and cybersecurity and technology consultants. The goal: to round out digital rights which have not been yet embraced by [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Russian bots: plenty of interference, but little influence?

A host of studies report the growth of misinformation –from various sources– and fake news disseminated through social media and other means of transmission. But fewer focus on its real impact, something that could be less significant than supposed. Ultimately, Russian, Chinese and other bots may lead to a [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Infodemic and mediademic

Amid the coronavirus crisis there is also an overload of information, something that the Director General of the World Health Organisation described at the beginning of February as an ‘infodemic’, a glut of misinformation deriving from various sources –there is never any shortage of troublemakers, whether motivated by their [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega 1989, 30 years on: from the Iron Curtain to digital curtains

The night of 8 November 1989, 30 years ago, witnessed not only the breaching of a wall, the Berlin Wall (a key element of the Iron curtain), but also the birth of a hope, the hope that freedom and democracy would flourish. Not long afterwards the Soviet Union collapsed, [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Psychographic advertising: the global battle to sway minds

It’s nothing new. Much indeed was known or suspected: specifically, that by using data from social media it is possible to send and personalise messages –true and otherwise– to reach many millions of individual users (who, even if pseudonymous, are real) or groups of them. Using Facebook data this [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Democracies on the back foot

Democracies are on the defence. In its recent National Security Strategy, the Trump Administration –advocating ‘a return to a principled realism’– fails to mention promoting democracy and human rights beyond US borders, although it does refer to ‘our community of like-minded-democratic states’. The EU has its own democracy problems [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Disinformation campaigns: the weakness caused by mistrust

We are not in a military conflict, nor even a cold war, but there is a profusion of so-called disinformation wars. Fake news –stories that are purposely fabricated– and its dissemination is part of this. The new Spanish Security Strategy identifies online ‘influence and disinformation’ activities as a new [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Social media in China: the regime is more concerned about what people do than what they say

The Internet is essential to a country like China, riding high on the great wave of technology. But it gives the regime the headache of control. Apart from its Great Firewall, the Chinese state runs an elaborate system of censorship and manipulation of social media. It has just proved [...]

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