American intelligence services have unanimously concluded that the Russian government intervened in the 2016 U.S. elections, and seeks to meddle again this fall. One of Russia’s methods was to use social media to distribute disinformation. What’s the big-picture strategy behind this style of attack, and how badly is it damaging our society and politics? Does disinformation have lasting effects on how voters engage with democracy? What vulnerabilities in American society did Russia exploit in its disinformation campaign? And how can the U.S. best fight back? Former FBI counterintelligence special agent and Yale senior lecturer Asha Rangappa, film producer and Russian Media Monitor founder Julia Davis, and Virginia Commonwealth University behavioral scientist and media researcher Caroline Orr visit Zócalo to discuss the power and peril of weaponizing information.
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