2021 IEEE International Conference on Cyber Security and Resilience

Full Program

Summary:

While the content of hostile disinformation narratives is relatively well-researched, how these narratives interact and are amplified to generate psychological effects requires further scrutiny. To address this gap, this study uses Russian COVID-19 disinformation combined with network methodologies to contextualize a novel hypothetical model of this process. Specifically, we conduct a content analysis of known disinformation articles about COVID-19 (N = 65) from Russian news sources (e.g. RT, Sputnik, New Eastern Outlook). Using co-occurrence network visualizations, we map the nexus between narrative and psychological effects to provide new insights and testable models of the effects of COVID-19 disinformation. Main findings show that hostile anti-Western narratives primarily target the emotions of anger, disgust, and confusion to undermine citizens' trust in (supra-) governmental institutions and the media. This is the first step in a research agenda that can help media practitioners develop interventions and aid policy makers bolster societal resilience to hostile disinformation campaigns.

Author(s):

Aiden Hoyle    
TNO
Netherlands

Thomas Powell    
TNO
Netherlands

Beatrice Cadet    
TNO
Netherlands

Judith van de Kuijt    
TNO
Netherlands

 


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