Hybrid CoE Trend Report 4: Trends in the Contemporary Information Environment

- May 8, 2020

In the era of hybrid threats, there have been profound changes to the security environment, and these reflect to the information domain. Disinformation’s structure is rapidly developing and becoming ever more effective. Instead of looking at disinformation as Disinformation 2.0 or Disinformation 3.0, 4.0… changes in disinformation should be analysed as Disinformation h.0.

The report examines four contemporary trends of change in the information environment which affect disinformation. The trends identified are 1) Fragmentation of the concept of truth, especially as it relates to social trends and new ways in which information flows; 2) Comprehensive changes in the media as an industry; 3) The increasing hegemony of private media platforms that now compete with outlets, which are still referred to as the traditional media; and 4) New technologies that give rise to new tools for interference and influence.

From the hybrid threat perspective, Disinformation h.0 depicts the confusing mix of strategic messages from state and non-state actors who consider the democratic state system to pose a threat to them. It is combined with advertising from commercial entities, as well as  mis- and disinformation disseminated by aware or unaware social media users. In this environment, the conflicts of popularity and perceptions are beginning to merge with real-life conflicts and divisiveness, leading to increased online and offline social, economic and ideological polarization. Thus, it is of utmost importance, that we follow the changes in the information environment and understand the structures of Disinformation h.0.

 

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