What is a person with a smartphone capable of? Today, an ordinary person with a smartphone can do more than what a professional journalist could do 20 years ago. What can 50 people with smartphones do? Or 100 trained persons who are managed from a single center and regularly receive talking points?
With each passing year, the proliferation of the Internet and social networks increases worldwide. For some, it is a blessing, as it creates opportunities to earn money or communicate with loved ones. Still, it enables certain people, countries, and organizations to manipulate and spread fake news and disinformation.
In Mexico, approximately 100 million social network users are vulnerable to manipulating, creating, and distributing fake news and disinformation by malicious actors. Never before in the history of humankind was it possible to create and disseminate information so easily and quickly.
Elections, as well as day-to-day political life, are accompanied by a massive circulation of fake news. And this phenomenon does not only occur in Mexico, similar problems are observed all over the world. The scandalous Russian interference in the 2016 US elections remains fresh in everyone’s minds. Now the Russian propaganda machine is actively involved in the war in Europe. Hostilities in the information space are conducted in parallel with the actual military operations on the ground and the air. Some major countries take measures to combat disinformation and information attacks, and special working groups or government bodies are being created. Time will show how effective these measures will be.
In addition, the coronavirus pandemic further aggravated the situation. For instance, thousands of fake news circulated daily on social networks and in the media, further polluting the global media space with informational garbage.
In some countries, special trainings and literature for journalists have been offered. Even international organizations such as UNESCO, who have realized the gravity of the situation, became actively engaged in raising media literacy.
If, for some journalists, there is media literacy training, then what should ordinary people do? Or people at risk, such as politicians, activists, human rights advocates, business people, civil servants, and ordinary people who do not want to fall victim to information attacks?
There are several solutions. Look for appropriate training or specialists in their own country or opt for a more universal solution. One is tarand.io, an industry-first solution that provides fully automated online training on detection and protection from information attacks, including fake news, disinformation, malicious propaganda, and manipulation attacks. The project was launched earlier this year at the height of a flood of disinformation related to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
Tarand.io founder and CEO Ali Hajizade says, “Everyone is at risk, not just professionals and politicians. Malicious actors can target anyone and everyone! These malicious actors know no boundaries. They will take what you value the most and use it against you. It is essential to protect yourself and those around you in the evolving information age.”
Hajizade also urges awareness of consequences if no timely measures are taken or if they are insufficient to stop the spread of propaganda and disinformation.
“During the pandemic, we saw how people honestly trusted posts in instant messengers and social networks rather than the doctors, which certainly did not help protect their health and combat the virus. In addition, over the past 5-7 years, malicious propaganda and disinformation have led to serious riots and deaths in different parts of the world, both in the third world and developed Western countries. Propaganda and disinformation do not respect any rules or moral principles. They penetrate through open doors and, like an infection, methodically destroy society from the inside.”
For every poison, there is an antidote. The task of society is to find and apply this antidote before it is too late. The people or groups that create and distribute fake news and malicious propaganda also had success because most of the society simply did not know what it was and how to combat this scourge. Now, when various programs and projects like Tarand are available, the task of recognizing and combating fake news and disinformation is greatly facilitated.
When considering the importance and availability to combat malicious propaganda, fake news, and disinformation, as well as the necessity for raising awareness concerning this issue, the Tarand Project is kindly providing a special discount code for readers of Mexico Business News. Use the discount code holamexico2022 to get 90 percent off Tarand’s Information War and Counteraction Techniques training. The discount will be granted to the first 30 people only.