The Kremlin, as well as other state actors and far-right groups, divide and deceive populations around the world using social media and other online warfare tactics. The Western world has finally begun to wake up to this threat, but Central and Eastern European states have been aware, and reacting, for years. In this lecture, Nina Jankowicz, an expert in online disinformation, will discuss these governments’ responses to Russian information warfare tactics. By journeying into these campaigns, Nina Jankowicz shows how we can better understand the motivations behind these attacks and how to beat them. Unless we recognize and address the areas that make our societies vulnerable to manipulation in the first place, Jankowicz argues that we will never be able to truly address the problem. Until a country’s elected leaders recognize the threat disinformation poses to democratic society and do not themselves engage in its amplification, the future of civil discourse and democracy, and the value of truth itself, remains at stake. In a time where it is hard to tell what is true and what is false online, from state actors such as Russia and China but also from far-right and other groups seeking to build their narratives through false online actions, her lecture will offer vital insights into how we can reclaim truth in democracies.
Nina Jankowicz studies the intersection of democracy and technology in Central and Eastern Europe. She is the author of How To Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict (Bloomsbury/IBTauris). Ms. Jankowicz has advised the Ukrainian government on strategic communications under the auspices of a Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellowship. Her writing has been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and others. She is a frequent television and radio commentator on disinformation and Russian and Eastern European affairs. Prior to her Fulbright grant in Ukraine, Ms. Jankowicz managed democracy assistance programs to Russia and Belarus at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. She received her MA in Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, and her BA from Bryn Mawr College.
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Register at https://go.illinois.edu/jankowicz-lecture