The Embassy of Lithuania together with Sweden, UK and US company Twitter co-sponsored the Atlantic Council’s second Global Forum on Strategic Communications and Digital Disinformation. The Forum was held on October 2-4 in Washington, DC, with one of the sessions taking part at Lithuanian Embassy. Lithuanian Prime Minister’s National Security Advisor Arnoldas Pikžirnis spoke about Lithuania’s experience in countering state-sponsored disinformation during the Forum.
On the sidelines of the Forum, Lithuanian civil society representatives Giedrius Sakalauskas and Viktorras Daukšas presented the phenomenon of elves and the initiative “Debunk” (demaskuok.lt) – both are the initiatives of Lithuania’s civil society in countering and debunking malign disinformation.
CNAS podcast interview with the director of the initiative Viktoras Daukšas and Giedrius Sakalauskas, one of the many ‘elves’ fighting Russian trolls online throughout the Baltic region, sit down with Dr. Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Bacevich Fellow Rachel Rizzo to discuss their experiences with disinformation and how best to fight it.
Lithuanian civil society is not only resilient to Kremlin’s information warfare, but takes actions to counter the lies.
Disinformation agents already skilfully employ a large spectrum of measures ranging from historical sentiments to the most advanced IT solutions. And it is important to acknowledge that the intentional spreading of false information in order to deceive and to undermine trust in existing models of governance will not slow down and will become even more advanced and more creative.
Countermeasures often prove too slow and too fragmented, and they still rely on an outdated ‘2G’ approach, where the first G stands for Google search (manual monitoring) and the second G for Gut feeling (no data-driven evidence).
What is more, most public institutions come across allegations of attempting to become ‘Ministries of truth’ if they get into debunking.
The problem is complex, and it requires complex solutions — involving both technology and cooperation between multiple parties.
Against this backdrop, the Lithuanian-born initiative Demaskuok! (Debunk! in English) seeks to provide a speedy, independent, transparent and fair solution, with maximum outreach.