The State Department has revealed that the United States is officially allocating 40 million dollars to counter what it refers to as foreign propaganda from countries like Russia, China, and Iran…
The United States is publicly taking a stand in the “War on Propaganda,” and it has pledged 40 million dollars to combat propaganda from foreign countries that are often criticized by the U.S. The State Department released the transcript from a press briefing that was apparently held off-camera on Tuesday, and in it, a spokesperson said that the funding is part of the Global Engagement Center’s effort to combat foreign disinformation.
The statement specifically said that the U.S. intends to counter disinformation and propaganda from Russia, Iran, and China that is directed to foreign audiences.
The State Department claimed these efforts would be accomplished by deploying technology to provide early warnings of foreign disinformation, analyzing foreign audiences that are most susceptible to disinformation, and working closely with local organizations, social media influencers, and journalists to produce content.
The State Department’s claim that it plans to develop partnerships with key local social media influencers to produce content to reach critical audiences is notable, considering the fact that in early 2018, the United States indicted 13 Russian nationals and 3 entities for conducting illegal quote “information warfare” during the 2016 election. They claimed this was done by intentionally influencing users on popular social media platforms like Facebook.
The latest announcement on combatting foreign propaganda comes after the Department of Homeland Security recently claimed it is still seeing ongoing and persistent efforts from Russia, China and Iran to influence both the 2018 midterm elections and the 2020 presidential election.
“These disinformation and misinformation campaigns on social media and new media. That sort of activity has persisted. We continue to see Russians and increasingly Iranian and other Chinese actors continue to use social media to influence the American public to sow discord and increase divisiveness. That’s something that is probably just a tool of the trade for them right now. So we continue to see that activity.” — Chris Krebs, Under Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate
While the United States claims that it is committed to combatting foreign disinformation, this campaign has left many wondering if this is just another example of the U.S. trying to dominate Russia, China and Iran by controlling the media narrative.