While Western democracy is showing increasing signs of uncertainty, people look, with quiet admiration, to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. The power in those countries is in hand, stable and effective at affecting people’s behavior and actions.
Mark Zuckeberg appeared before U.S. representatives, again. He sat alone at an austere table, being looked down on by the mighty politicians from their raised podium. Yet, the founder of Facebook yields more power than all those politicians combined.
There is a new hope for internet users: The troops of elves countering the internet trolls have proliferated in yet another country – the regional leader in countering malicious foreign influences: the Czech Republic.
The Kremlin has used massive disinformation efforts, among others, to interfere in democratic processes across the West in the past few years. Consequently, the 2019 EP elections were always treated as potential targets for Russia, which was acknowledged by European institutions well in advance.
Given the aforementioned factors, it is crucial to ask how much Polish society knows about information security and information threats, which is an important task for journalists, administrative staff, and academia. The messages delivered by Russian propaganda have been consistent over the decades.
We are entering a new era of influence operations in the cyber space. As global players such as Twitter and Google are joining the fight against the spread of hostile propaganda, Kremlin friendly trolls have no trouble adjusting to the new cyber rules and still keeping their activities one step ahead.
When facing illiberal regimes, a stream of victories by populists and a seemingly unstoppable retreat of liberal democracy, should we also simply adept to the new reality and “make our peace”? I would argue that this is the strategy many people have been pursuing in Hungary.
The surge to prominence of extreme right-wing beliefs has become a sign of our times. It only takes a glance at a comparative analysis of election results and how they changed over the last decade in many Western countries.
Putin’s Russia is the first country that has deliberately made the carnival a cornerstone of its domestic and foreign policies – in fact, of its entire post-Soviet political architecture. The first country to have established, one decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a full-fledged TV-run postmodern dictatorship – a so-called “managed democracy”.