Disinfo Wars

A taxonomy of information warfare

Hossein Derakhshan

--

By Hossein Derakhshan*

In the Information Disorder report for Council of Europe (2017), Claire Wardle and I identified three types of bad-information (mis-, dis-, and malinformation), three phases (creation, (re)production, distribution), and three elements (agent, message, interpreter) to information disorder.

Here I would like to expand that model and focus on various categories of information warfare, based on their agents and targets, divided as state, non-state or non-state organisations, and the public. Agent is the creator of dis-/malinformation, target is whom the agent wishes to influence or manipulate in order to reach a specific goal which intends harm. This model not only somewhat clarifies the current debate on the topic, it informs potential ways to tackle each type of campaign, implying where fact-checking is the most effective.

The diagram above (in draft) shows nine possibilities, depending on which agent intends to influence which…

--

--

Hossein Derakhshan

Researcher at Harvard's Shorenstein and MIT Media Lab. Spent 6 years in prison over blogging in Iran till 2014. hoder at hoder dot com