The latter was evident this week after more than 1 million people watched an interview with Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that had been misleadingly edited in the name of satire — but without being labeled as such.NATO’s game is “a response to the general issue of disinformation spread,” Aleksejeva said. “Russia has played a role in the trend but we’ve seen other players who have spread disinformation.”Chief among her concerns are the “attempts to target the national security of foreign countries, from particular adversaries.”Although Aleksejeva declined to single out Russia, the country has been the source of NATO’s renewed focus since it annexed Crimea in 2014, and it is the main perpetrator when it comes to online meddling.Russia’s now-infamous Internet Research Agency had a budget of $1.2 million and fueled “information warfare” during the 2016 presidential election, according to a February indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller.
It allegedly built hundreds of social media accounts and spread fake political ads that criticized Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.”The Kremlin promotes conspiratorial discourse and uses disinformation to pollute the information space, increase polarization and undermine democratic debate,” a report by the Center for European Policy Analysis said last April.The News Hero is perhaps a reaction to critics who alleged the West’s response to this cyber-onslaught has been sluggish and lackluster.Sir Michael Fallon, then-Britain’s defense secretary, last year urged “NATO and the West to do more to tackle the false reality promoted through Soviet-style misinformation.”Other types of fake news are financially motivated.In December 2016, NBC News traveled to Macedonia and interviewed a teenager making thousands of dollars by publishing knowingly fake articles. Most of them criticized Clinton and then President Barack Obama while lionizing Trump. The teenager said he was acting alone and not linked to Russia.
Whatever the motive, Facebook itself has been heavily criticized for doing too little to clamp down on fake news spreading on its platform.Aleksejeva says the release of this game is NATO trying to do its bit.”We’d really like to see people develop a reflex that before sharing they take a look at the headline, take a look at the language,” Aleksejeva said. “Is it fact or fiction?”
Read on EuroNews