Sinan is joined by expert guests, Natalia Levina – Professor, New York University, Stern School of Business, Richard Stengel – Former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and Political Analyst, CNBC and Clint Watts – Distinguished Research Fellow, Foreign Policy Research Institute and national security contributor for NBC News and MSNBC, to discuss the information war in Ukraine. The historical sophistication of Russian influence operations through social media is well known. But today, in Ukraine, they are struggling to keep up with the modern information war raging over social and traditional media. Today, the information war in Ukraine is more intense, more tightly contested and arguably more important than ever because motivating volunteer fighters at home and encouraging foreign support aboard are critical to success. And this time, it seems, Russia is losing. President Zelenskyy is deftly outmaneuvering Putin in this information war. And this time around, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google are proactively engaged in the information war. Information campaigns are difficult to quantify during the fog of war. But while it is hard to pinpoint the extent to which the information war is contributing to the overwhelming international unity against Vladimir Putin’ aggression, one thing is clear: social media, mainstream media and the narrative framing of the Ukrainian invasion will undoubtedly play an important role in how this conflict ends. Now, vigilance and fortitude are not only needed on the battlefield, where lives and territory will be won and lost, but also online, where the hearts and minds of the world will be won or lost.
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