Belgrade Initiative 4 Digital Public Diplomacy Blog

Tech and blockchain to fight foreign propaganda and disinformation

The U.S. focuses on private/public partnerships and tech demos. The U.S. Department of State has launched the Global Engagement Center’s (GEC) Technology Series to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation. The goal, according to a press release, is to “convene some of the country’s best technologists, academics, and civil society advocacy groups on a regular basis to identify...

Russian operatives celebrate Trump’s birthday with new fake news site

A new propaganda website linked to Russia’s troll factory has rolled out just in time for Trump’s birthday — and they’re inviting Americans to the White House to celebrate. Russian operatives associated with the notorious St. Petersburg-based troll factory known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA) have rolled out a new fake news website just in...

How digital is your country? Europe needs Digital Single Market to boost its digital performance

European Commission published the results of the 2018 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), a tool which monitors the performance of Member States in digital connectivity, digital skills online activity, the digitisation of businesses and digital public services. According to it, the EU is getting more digital, but progress remains insufficient for Europe to catch up...

Social media shaping norms of expression in the Arab world

Of the biggest social networks, WhatsApp has 95% reach in the United Arab Emirates and 88% in Saudi Arabia. Sunday 27/05/2018 ABU DHABI – Since the “Arab spring” in 2011, social media have taken the Middle East and North Africa by storm, changing its collective and individual communication landscape. The “7th Arab Social Media Report,” put...

Fake terror attacks: why are the frightening pranks going viral?

It sounds like another terrifying story of insurgent terrorism in the Middle East: on Tuesday, men dressed in the black garb of the Islamic State stormed through a mall in Iran, brandishing swords and guns, shouting “Allahu Akbar”. Shoppers reportedly fled the scene in fear. It was reminiscent of the 2017 Tehran Isis attacks in which...

Nikki Haley’s Twitter account raises protocol concerns

Ever since she took over as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley’s personal Twitter account has been an object of fascination for the diplomatic set. On the @nikkihaley handle, the rising Republican star posts pictures of her dearest friends and showers love on her dog, Bentley. But she also denounces Russian actions in...

U.S. cyber warriors are getting better at fighting ISIS online, says top general

The U.S. military has gotten better at countering ISIS’ digital operations over the last six months, according to Lieutenant General Paul Nakasone, commanding general of Army Cyber Command.

“I think what we are learning is in terms of being able to counter a message, being able to attack a brand — in this case the brand of ISIS — and then, the other thing is, how do we do this with the speed and accuracy that is able to get at an adversary that six months ago was moving uncontested in cyberspace,” Nakasone said during a Senate Armed Services subcommittee hearing. “I think we’ve learned those things over the last six months. I think we as a department have done much better.”

ISIS shares propaganda, communicates with allies and spreads other messaging via the internet. In the past, the group’s successful use of social media has been linked to terrorist attacks in the U.S., including the shootings in San Bernardino, California and Orlando, Florida.

Nakasone’s comments come just three w..