The business model of American social media allows foreign adversaries to exploit our open society by spreading disinformation and amplifying disagreements, turning citizens against one another, speakers said at a Princeton University forum on Saturday.
DEFENDING DEMOCRACY: CIVIL AND MILITARY RESPONSES TO WEAPONIZED INFORMATION
The United States must rethink defense in light of recent revelations that adversaries have been using social media and disinformation in an attempt to influence our politics, sow division within our society, and affect battlefields in Europe and the Middle East. While propaganda is hardly a new tactic of war, current technology has made it easier, faster and more effective.
The forum will focus on disinformation and the widespread digital dissemination of propaganda – the “fake news” crisis that is the focus of much of today’s news. Keynote speakers include David Ignatius of the Washington Post and General (ret.) Michael Hayden. The agenda can be found here.
In an attempt to understand the long-term effects of this strategy and identify possible means of combatting this new threat, we will examine three types of defense strategies -- civil, active and deterrence -- that the United States can deploy. Our aim is to bring together experts from different disciplines to ensure a robust analysis and discussion. Panelists will represent military, computer science, legal, policy, journalism and social science expertise.
In the first two panels, we will define the problem: What is the weaponization of information and why is this a threat to the United States? In the third panel we will consider defense: How can we defend America’s democracy from attacks rendered through misinformation, propaganda and other digital information interference? And in the final panel, we will focus on deterrence: What measures can the United States take to deter our adversaries from spreading propaganda in the hopes of sowing unrest?
NOTE: We are currently at capacity for registration. However, you can click on the registration link to sign up for the waitlist. Seats may open up before the event.
Regular Rate: $50 per person
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ABOUT THIS FORUM
This event is co-hosted by Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Princeton Veterans Alumni Association. It is the Fourth Annual Veteran’s Summit, previously hosted by Yale University and the U.S. Military Academy.
Robert Mueller’s recent indictment of 13 Russians and their “troll farm” has given us a clearer view of what an adversary can do with disinformation. Yet, just last week, Adm. Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, testified before lawmakers that while the U.S.