The Counter Terrorism Preparedness Network has published its latest report, Mis-and Disinformation: Extremism in the Digital Age Report 2023, with editing contributions from National Preparedness Commissioner Elizabeth Braw.

The report outlines the significant complexities of managing and combatting mis-and disinformation in a 24/7 digitally connected society, exploring the main threats this poses to democracy through the growing ways in which extremists can influence the public. The report examines the mechanics of how false information can undermine democracy and fuel extremism; how hostile states use disinformation to manipulate public opinion; how extremists leverage social media to spread information, recruit and incite violence; and finally sets out recommendations for how such threats can be managed at the local level, with an example of good practice from the London Resilience Communication Group. Recommendations include training, reporting, social listening and using evidence-based narratives in counter-messaging.

The findings, highlight that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to prevention efforts. Still, there are ways in which these threats can be better managed through improvements to leadership, legislation, regulations, public-private sector cooperation and education. Such combined structural changes can foster a greater network of capabilities to prepare and respond to the threats from mis-and disinformation. The paper concludes with eight critical recommendations for action to facilitate this strategic and joined-up approach.


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