The Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS) organised the workshop on ‘Understanding and Countering Online Falsehoods and Influence Operations’ from 4 – 5 November 2019 at the Marina Mandarin Hotel in Singapore. The two-day workshop brought together nineteen speakers from different organisations including academia, think tanks, international organisations and grassroots movements and explored the topics of online falsehoods and influence operations with attention to the experiences of different countries.
‘Understanding and Countering Online Falsehoods and Influence Operations’ workshop focused on a wide range of issues concerning influence operations and aimed to capture the prominent debates in the field. The first panel set the context of the workshop and stretched the discussion from online falsehoods to influence operations. Building on this context, panels on day one discussed online falsehoods and influence operations in Asia and election meddling, respectively. Both panels drew from cases from different countries. The panel on Asia discussed trolling against humanitarian efforts in the Philippines, information operations directed at Hong Kong, and the plague of online falsehoods in Sri Lanka. The panel on elections and information manipulation captured the variety of concerns related to information manipulation during the election period with references to the experiences of countries from different continents, including Brazil, Sweden, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
The second day of the workshop focused on the reception of online falsehoods, future concerns, and contemporary countermeasures. The panel on tactics, technology, and future concerns reviewed the technology and tactics leveraged in influence operations. It also explored potential future threats, including the advancement of deep fakes and whether they pose a significant threat within the grand scheme of malicious information manipulation efforts. The session on the reception of online falsehoods and inoculation allowed for a smooth transition from the supply side of the question to the reception aspect and countermeasures after that. During this session, speakers unpacked the ‘psychology of misinformation,’ and shared methods of inoculation against misinformation with references to cases including anti-vaccination, and climate-change. The final panel of the workshop, ‘Countering Online Falsehoods and Influence Operations,’ reviewed various response measures. The speakers shared their diverse experiences with references to cases including experiences with equipping civil servants to counter disinformation campaigns, a media literacy programme at a high school in Finland and a grassroots citizen initiative in Lithuania.
The event attracted over two hundred participants from government agencies, academia, think tanks and representatives of foreign governments and allowed for fruitful exchanges and networking opportunities.
Event Reports / Global
Muhammad Faizal Bin Abdul Rahman, Gulizar Haciyakupoglu, Terri-Anne Teo, Joseph Franco, Cameron Sumpter, Jennifer Yang Hui, Dymples Leong Suying, Eugene EG Tan, and Nazneen Mohsina.
Last updated on 05/03/2020