Open Educational Resources

1. Security, asymmetric threats and communication

Characterization of the 21st Century security threat landscape

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Definitions: national security threats, state conventional and non state unconventional methods, hybrid threats, disinformation.

Hybrid threats dimensions, actors, chanels and tools

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Hybrid threats expand the battlefield across the political, economic and social dimension that extends far beyond the mere military realm: political dimension, social dimension and the economic dimension.

Types of Internet disinformation

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Intention separates disinformation from misinformation, both terms referring to information that is inaccurate, incorrect, or misleading. It becomes obvious then that the question of whether the information is ‘true’ or ‘false’ is not enough to be able to distinguish ‘trustworthy’ news from ‘malicious’ news.

Security threats in the digital era

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Main characteristics of cyber security threats, cyber interference in elections, dissemination of fake news, hacking of critical infrastructure, distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks, use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), manipulation of false actors and creation of AstroTurf groups…

Analogue meets Digital

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Digital technologies have facilitated the spread of disinformation, exacerbated identity politics, magnified biases and deepened existing divisions in public attitudes, and revealed a whole new array of challenges for the societal cohesion and internal stability of liberal democracies.

Current perceptions of threats (number of EU countries)

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What are the main security threats affecting European liberal democracies in the digital era? Two graphics that show the current perceptions of threats (number of EU countries) and Perceptions of vulnerability and resilience against security threats (number of EU countries).

Information and influence operations in the cyberspace (video)

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The general accepted definition of public opinion is that it can describe the attitudes held by a significant number of people on matters of government and politics, thus public opinion plays an important role in the political sphere. The novel Coronavirus emerged at the end of 2019, thus a general crisis has spread all over the world. This video explains the several consequences of COVID19 at the beginning of the pandemic due to a lack of information.

The EUvsDisinfo project

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The EUvsDisinfo project of the European Union External Action Service East Stratcom Task Force has an extensive database of over 7,000 disinformation cases. Some topic themes and targets of pro-Kremlin disinformation identified are recurrent.

Analysis and assessment of information campaigns as a part of hybrid threat influence operations

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Cyber/Information as a security domain. Individuals and institutions as the targets of hostile state and non-state actor activities: addressing the security challenge.

Security, Asymmetric Threats and Communication

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This multimedia product summarizes a comprehensive perspective on the 21st century security threats, the most important security threats in the digital era and the cyber/information as a security domain

2. Strategic communication and public opinion

Communication as a process, strategic, and persuasive communications

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Communication entails a try to share a message, information, an idea or and attitude from a source to a destination and the messages are made of signs that stand for something in experience.

Communication Models

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This infographic captures some of the most well-known communication models analyzed the mass communications literature.

Wardle and Derakhshan’s Information disorder framework

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Strategic communication phenomenon’s. Disinformation is the art of transmitting certain information about nothing. “Misinformation – a series of verifiably false or misleading information that is created, presented and disseminated to deliberately mislead the public”.

Approach of concepts of public opinion, communication and information

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The general accepted definition of public opinion is that it can describe the attitudes held by a significant number of people on matters of government and politics, thus public opinion plays an important role in the political sphere.

Communication and public opinion

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Communication has received less attention as a central variable of the public opinion process. This figure presents the conceptualization of the public opinion process, with communication as a driving force behind the model.

Opinion and news media

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The public sphere is an arena strictly set aside for public deliberation. In today’s digital society, the rise of social media such as Twitter and Facebook has resulted in increased public discussions on various political issues.

Strategic communication as a process and strategic planning of communication

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This strategic communication process is usually described as encompassing different steps captured by different acronyms such as RPIE (Research, Planning, Implementation, Evaluation). Key messages are also defined in the planning step. Strategic PR plans typically include the following sections, as described by Wilcox, Cameron and Xifra: Situation, objectives, publics, strategy, tactics, timetables, budget, evaluation (planned).

Stakeholder view of firm

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Analyzing your stakeholders/publics is essential in information and influence campaigns Organizations, including government departments, institutions, companies, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations have stakeholders.

Power/interested grid

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Stakeholder analysis can assist decision-making and is an important tool for the strategic planning of strategic communication campaigns. Fleisher and Bensoussan (2003) have described the following steps for analyzing stakeholders, which in practice involves answering to the following questions.

Strategic communication and public opinions

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This multimedia product summarizes a solid understanding of strategic communication as a specialized process.

3. Adressing the challenge of fake news, disinformation and covert influence in the digital era

Propaganda and disinformation: past and present

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History of propaganda disinformation shown in an interactive timeline.

Harvest of the soldiers

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Islamic State’s media effort has a number of aims that target both sympathetic and hostile audiences. One goal is to recruit supporters. A second goal is to generate fear among its opponents, which has very specific advantages on the battlefield. A third goal is to assert its legitimacy and gain acceptance of its status as a state.

Digital Platforms Used for disinformation operations

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Organised state-sponsored disinformation campaigns have become an important tool of hybrid warfare weakening the institutional framework of the European Union and NATO.

Ethics vs. Disinformation

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The ethical message and disinformation are undoubtly two interconnected phenomenons. This means not only that an ethical message does not disinform but also, in a related way, that when disinformation is dispersed, the messages are not ethical.

When our message is failed we may reinforce disinformation

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The professionals of Communication and the public must be aware that every detail plays a part in the context of Communication and the way the public receives the news. It is important the message to be clearly written to avoid the phenomenon of misunderstanding.

CONCEALING IDENTITIES AND MISLEADING THE NATURE OF COMMUNICATION: THE GRAYSCALE OF DENIABILITY

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Complex data-driven disinformation and propaganda operations are performed as to replace aspirations with anger born from confusion and despair, to sow distrust and to distort or representations and understanding of reality via hostile narratives, ready to be “weaponised” for specific goals.

The complicated attibution problem

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Complex data-driven disinformation and propaganda operations are performed as to replace aspirations with anger born from confusion and despair, to sow distrust and to distort or representations and understanding of reality via hostile narratives, ready to be “weaponised” for specific goals.In the past few years the technical possibilities of cyber forensics have developed rapidly, and indisputable attribution seems to become increasingly feasible. 

Russia´s Social Influence Media Operations

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This multimedia product summarizes an historical perspective to disinformation and propaganda, the role of principled journalism in countering disinformation and avoiding misinformation and the covert influence and the challenges of attribution.

4. CRESCEnt Advanced Analytic and Critical Thinking Toolkit

What is logical reasoning?

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Logical Reasoning: deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, abductive reasoning. Descriptions of these terms.

Principles of logical reasoning, judgement and types of evidence

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In order to avoid errors and fallacies in logical reasoning, a few principles can be followed. These are not to be considered as rules, but as pieces of advice.

Identifying and avoiding logical fallacies

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In order to avoid errors and fallacies in logical reasoning, a few principles can be followed. These are not to be considered as rules, but as pieces of advice.

Experts views on information evaluation and verification: source reliability, content credibility and audiovisual material checking

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Experts can be asked about nformation evaluation and verification: source reliability, content credibility and audiovisual material checking.

Five-step fact-checking

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Fact-checking is a basic process for evaluating and verifying information, which can be done in a rather simple way. Here are five questions to ask.

Tips for video verification

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Find tips for video verification. Use sources, databaeses, social media and, over all, commons sense.

Covert information warfare – busted!

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Propaganda represents the intensive manipulation of information so as to influence perceptions and the ability of the target audience to make objective decisions. Disinformation refers to an entire array of tactics and strategies used to propagate false, inexact or out of context information.

How to spot fake news?

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Consider the source, check the author, check the date, check your cognitive biases, read the whole article, consult alternative sources, check if it is a joke and consult the experts.

How to fight fake news?

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Expose information, factcheck the source, factcheck the content, factcheck the content, use of plug-in, encourage social media and build grassroots citizen defense.

CRESCEnt Advanced Analytic and Critical Thinking Toolkit

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This multimedia product summarizes the evidence, judgment, and logical reasoning, the views on information evaluation and verification, source reliability, content credibility and audiovisual material checking and the knowledge on disinformation and propaganda.

5. Role-playing Simulations/Gaming

Journalism genres: understanding the differences between hard news reporting, interpretive journalism, and opinion

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Journalism genres: understanding the differences between hard news reporting, interpretive journalism, and opinion. Throught the interactive video you will discover experts views on coountirng disinformation with professional and ethical journalism.

Visual Journalism

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Visual Journalisism: frame your perspective set the basis to know what is visual joournalism.

Images generated by deepfake technology

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The Internet and social media have remarkable advantages, but they also provide a channel for conducting deception activities through disinformation and digital forgeries, including audiovisual content.

How to spot Deepfake image of people

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Kyle McDonald in his 2018 article “How to recognize fake AI-generated images?” provides hints that may allow us to identify GAN-generated persons. Here are some of them.

Generative medias

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Kyle McDonald in his 2018 article “How to recognize fake AI-generated images?” provides hints that may allow us to identify GAN-generated persons. Here are some of them.

Conspiracies about the coronavirus (video)

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The novel Coronavirus emerged at the end of 2019, thus a general crisis has spread all over the world. This video explains the several consequences of COVID19 at the beginning of the pandemic due to a lack of information.

Recommendations for strategic communications in fighting disinformation

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The present world is one in which emotions are more impactful than facts. This relationship is crafty exploited by propagandists and disinformation agents. The good news is that many effective instruments for fighting disinformation and propaganda already exist.

Tips that can help you crafting a response during crisis

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While everybody hopes to never experience a crisis situation in their business, it’s important to be prepared. And while managing a crisis isn’t simple, there are some key elements that we all need to understand when forming and communicating a response.

Role-Playing Simulation/Gaming

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This multimedia product summarizes the differences between hard news reporting, interpretive journalism and opinion.