1. bookVolume 17 (2021): Issue 2 (June 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Novel technologies and Geopolitical Strategies: Disinformation Narratives in the Countries of the Visegrád Group

Published Online: 27 Jul 2021
Page range: 165 - 195
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

In the current media environment of growing information disorder and social media platforms emerging as primary news sources, the creation and spread of disinformation is becoming increasingly easy and cost-effective. The projection of strategic narratives through disinformation campaigns is an important geopolitical tool in the global competition for power and status. We have analysed close to 1,000 individual news pieces from more than 60 different online sources containing disinformation, which originally appeared in one of the V4 languages, using a natural language processing algorithm. We have assessed the frequency of recurring themes within the articles and their relationship structure, to see whether consistent disinformation narratives were to be found among them. Through frequency analysis and relationship charting, we have been able to uncover individual storylines connected to more than ten overarching disinformation narratives. We have also exposed five key meta-narratives present in all Visegrád Countries, which fed into a coherent system of beliefs, such as the envisioned collapse of the European Union or the establishment of a system of Neo-Atlantism, which would permanently divide the continent.

Keywords

Aletras, Nikolaos – Tsarapatsanis, Dimitrios – Preoţiuc, Pietro Daniel – Lampos, Vasileios (2016): Predicting judicial decisions of the European Court of Human Rights: A Natural Language Processing perspective. PeerJ Computer Science 2 (2016): e93. Search in Google Scholar

Bastos, Marco – Mercea, Dan (2018): The public accountability of social platforms: lessons from a study on bots and trolls in the Brexit campaign. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A. 376:20180003. Search in Google Scholar

Bevan, Luke D. – Colley, Thomas – Workman, Mark (2020): Climate change strategic narratives in the United Kingdom: Emergency, Extinction, Effectiveness. Energy Research & Social Sci ence 69 (2020). Search in Google Scholar

Bonchek, Mark (2016): How to Build a Strategic Narrative. Harvard Business Review Online: available at https://hbr.org/2016/03/how-to-build-a-strategic-narrative (18 December 2020) Search in Google Scholar

Bradshaw, Samantha – Howard, Philip N. (2018): The global organization of social media disin-formation campaigns. Journal of International Affairs 71 (1.5): 23–32. Search in Google Scholar

Bushell, Simon – Buisson, Géraldine S. – Workman, Mark – Colley, Thomas (2017): Strategic narratives in climate change: Towards a unifying narrative to address the action gap on climate change. Energy Research & Social Science 28 (2017): 39–49. Search in Google Scholar

Cabada, Ladislav – Waisová, Šárka (2018): The Visegrad Group as an Ambitious Actor of (Central-) European Foreign and Security Policy. Politics in Central Europe 14 (2): 9–20. Search in Google Scholar

Cinelli, Matteo – De Francisci Morales, Gianmarco – Galeazzi, Alessandro – Quattrociocchi, Walter – Starnini, Michele (2021): The echo chamber effect on social media. In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Mar 2021, 118 (9) e2023301118. National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Search in Google Scholar

Cohen, James N. (2018): Exploring Echo-Systems: How Algorithms Shape Immersive Media Environments. Journal of Media Literacy Education 10 (2): 139–151. Search in Google Scholar

Coticchia, Fabrizio – De Simone, Carolina (2016): The War That Wasn’t There? Italy’s “Peace Mission” in Afghanistan, Strategic Narratives and Public Opinion. Foreign Policy Analysis, 12 (1): 24–46. Search in Google Scholar

Deverell, Edward – Wagnsson, Charlotte – Olsson, Eva-Karin (2020): Destruct, direct and suppress: Sputnik narratives on the Nordic countries. The Journal of International Communica tion, DOI: 10.1080/13216597.2020.1817122. Search in Google Scholar

Díaz-García, José A. – Fernandez-Basso, Carlos-Ruiz, Dolores M. – Martín-Bautista María J. (2020): Mining Text Patterns Over Fake and Real Tweets. Information Processing and Management of Uncertainty in Knowledge Based Systems 1238 (2020): 648–660. Search in Google Scholar

Dimitriu, George – de Graaf, Beatrice (2016): Fighting the War at Home: Strategic Narratives, Elite Responsiveness, and the Dutch Mission in Afghanistan, 2006–2010. Foreign Policy Analysis 12 (1): 2–23. Search in Google Scholar

EC | European Commission (2016): Code of Practice on Disinformation. Shaping Europe’s digi tal future: available at https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/code-practice--disinformation (9 April 2021). Search in Google Scholar

EEAS | European Union External Action Service (2018): Questions and Answers about the East StratCom Task Force. East Stratcom Taskforce Official Website: available at https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/2116/-questions-and-answers-about-the--east-stratcom-task-force_en(15October2020). Search in Google Scholar

EPRS | European Parliamentary Research Service (2019a): Polarisation and the use of technology in political campaigns and communication. Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA) Study PE 634.414: available at https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2019/634414/EPRS_STU(2019)634414_EN.pdf (2 September 2020). Search in Google Scholar

EPRS | European Parliamentary Research Service (2019b): Automated tackling of disinformation. Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA) Study PE 624.278: available at https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2019/624278/EPRS_STU(2019)624278_EN.pdf (2 September 2020). Search in Google Scholar

EUvsDisinfo (2020a): Disinfo Database. Disinformation news pieces open source repository: available at https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/ (17 November 2020). Search in Google Scholar

EUvsDisinfo (2020b): About the EUvsDisinfo Project. Official statement and disclaimer: available at https://euvsdisinfo.eu/about/ (20 October 2020). Search in Google Scholar

EUvsDisinfo (2020c): The story of EUvsDisinfo. Terminology and methodology on EUvsDisinfo: available at https://euvsdisinfo.eu/to-challenge-russias-ongoing-disinformation-campaigns--the-story-of-euvsdisinfo/(9April2021). Search in Google Scholar

Farrell, Justin (2019): The growth of climate change misinformation in US philanthropy: evidence from natural language processing. Environmental Research Letters 14 (3): 1–10. Search in Google Scholar

Garrett, Kelly R. (2009): Echo chambers online? Politically motivated selective exposure among Internet news users. Journal of ComputerMediated Communication 14 (2): 265–285. Search in Google Scholar

Gorka, Marek (2018): The Three Seas Initiative as a Political Challenge for the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Politics in Central Europe 14 (3): 55–73. Search in Google Scholar

Hinck, Robert S. – Kluver, Randolph – Cooley, Skye (2018): Russia re-envisions the world: strategic narratives in Russian broadcast and news media during 2015. Russian Journal of Communica tion 10 (1): 21–37. Search in Google Scholar

Howard, Philip N. – Woolley, Samuel C. (2016): Political communication, computational propaganda, and autonomous agents – Introduction. International Journal of Communication 10(2016): 4882–4890. Search in Google Scholar

Ibrishimova, Marina D. – Li, Kin F. (2020): A Machine Learning Approach to Fake News Detection Using Knowledge Verification and Natural Language Processing. In Barolli, Leonard – Nishino Hiroaki – Miwa Hiroyoshi eds., Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol. 1035, Springer. Search in Google Scholar

Ižak, Štefan (2019): (Ab)using the topic of migration by pro-Kremlin propaganda: Case study of Slovakia. Journal of Comparative Politics 12 (1): 53–70. Search in Google Scholar

Jankowicz, Nina (2020): How to Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict. I.B. Tauris. Search in Google Scholar

John, Nicholas A. – Dvir-Gvirsman, Shira (2015): “I Don’t Like You Any More”: Facebook Unfriending by Israelis During the Israel–Gaza Conflict of 2014. Journal of Communication 65 (6): 953–974. Search in Google Scholar

Kaplan, Sarah – Orlikowski, Wanda (2014): Beyond Forecasting: Creating New Strategic Narratives. MIT Sloan Management Review 56 (1): 23–28. Search in Google Scholar

Khaldarova, Irina (2016): Strategic Narratives of the Ukraine Conflict Projected for Domestic and International Audiences by Russian TV Channels. In Mervi Pantti ed., Media and the Ukraine Crisis: Hybrid Media Practices and Narratives of Conflict, Peter Lang. Search in Google Scholar

Kovic, Marko – Rauchfleisch, Adrian – Sele, Marc – Caspar, Christian (2018). Digital astroturfing in politics: Definition, typology, and countermeasures. Studies in Communication Sciences 18(1): 69–85. Search in Google Scholar

Kuczyńska-Zonik, Aleksandra – Tatarenko, Agata (2019): Information Security Risks in the Context of Russian Propaganda in the CEE. In Visvizi, Anna – Lytras, Miltiadis D. eds., Politics and Technology in the Post Truth Era (Emerald Studies in Politics and Technology), pp. 143–157, Emerald Publishing Limited. Search in Google Scholar

Livingston, Steven – Nassetta, Jack (2018): Framing and Strategic Narratives: Synthesis and Analytical Framework. SAIS Review of International Affairs 38 (2): 101–110. Search in Google Scholar

Miskimmon, Alister – O’Loughlin, Ben – Roselle, Laura (2013): Strategic Narratives: Communication Power and the New World Order, Routledge. Search in Google Scholar

Nickerson, Raymond S. (1998): Confirmation bias: A ubiquitous phenomenon in many guises. Review of General Psychology 2 (2): 175–220. Search in Google Scholar

Orlowski, Jeff (2020): The Social Dilemma. Documentary film; Netflix release. Search in Google Scholar

Oshikawa, Ray – Qian, Jing – Wang, William Y. (2018): A survey on natural language processing for fake news detection. Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC 2020), 6086–6093, Marseille. Search in Google Scholar

OUP | Oxford University Press (2016): Word of the Year 2016. Official press release: available at https://languages.oup.com/word-of-the-year/2016/(10October2020). Search in Google Scholar

OUP | Oxford University Press (2020): Word of the Year. Official press release: available at https://languages.oup.com/word-of-the-year/(10October2020). Search in Google Scholar

Rashkin, Hannah – Choi, Eunsol – Jang, Jin – Volkova, Svitlana – Choi, Yejin (2017): Truth of Varying Shades: Analyzing Language in Fake News and Political Fact-Checking. Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, 2931–2937, Copenhagen. Search in Google Scholar

Ringsmose, Jens – Børgesen, Berit K. (2011): Shaping public attitudes towards the deployment of military power: NATO, Afghanistan and the use of strategic narratives. European Security 20 (4): 505–528. Search in Google Scholar

Rosůlek, Přemysl (2018): The Czech Singers Critical of Islam and Refugees on Facebook in the Age of the “Migration Crisis” (2015–2017). Politics in Central Europe 14 (1): 35–62. Search in Google Scholar

Sunstein, Cass R. (2007): Republic.com 2. 0. Princeton University Press. Search in Google Scholar

van Noort, Carolijn (2017): Study of Strategic Narratives: The Case of BRICS. Politics and Governance 5 (3): 121–129. Search in Google Scholar

Wardle, Claire – Derakhshan, Hossein (2017): Information Disorder: Toward an Interdisciplinary Framework for Research and Policy Making. Report DGI(2017)09, Council of Europe: available at https://rm.coe.int/information-disorder-toward-an-interdisciplinary-framework-for--researc/168076277c (4 September 2020). Search in Google Scholar

Wenerski, Lukasz (2017): The Visegrad countries and “Post-Truth”. Policy paper; Bertelsmann Policy Brief 06/2017: available at http://aei.pitt.edu/90423/1/PB2017_RUSpropaganda_Visegrad.pdf (10 December 2020) Search in Google Scholar

Zhou, Xinyi – Zafarani, Reza – Shu, Kai – Liu, Huan (2019): Fake News: Fundamental Theories, Detection Strategies and Challenges. In Proceedings of the Twelfth ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM ’19), 836–837. Association for Computing Machinery, New York. Search in Google Scholar

Zimmer, Franziska – Scheibe, Katrin – Stock, Mechtild – Stock, Wolfgang G. (2019): Fake News in Social Media: Bad Algorithms or Biased Users? Journal of Information Science Theory and Practice 7 (2): 40–53. Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo