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How disinformation works everywhere.

The symposium on Disinformation was held recently at the Institute for Politics at the University of Chicago. The streams just landed in my YouTube recommendations this morning. I might be hooked all weekend.

The discussion with Anne Applebaum and David Axelrod is a gateway primer on “how they do it”. Applebaum is an American conservative now living in Poland who has been a front seat witness to the way disinformation campaigns start, how they gain a foothold and their unique characteristics. She has been tracking the phenomenon in Eastern Europe and Russia. In the video below, she gives specific examples and describes why and how they work. If you’re looking for some recent local analogs, think Ron DeSantis. Just about EVERYTHING he’s been doing in the past year is straight out of the East European/Russian playbook.

I should note that Applebaum’s conversation is with David Axelrod who has plenty of experience spreading disinformation about Hilary Clinton in 2008. I don’t recall him apologizing for the the outrageous things he accused her campaign of. So his “oh really? Tell me more” attitude is genuinely offensive to me. (Some of us will never forget, David. We saw what you did.) But Applebaum is the get here so try to ignore Axelrod. He’s odious but not quite up to Russian standards.

Here’s the video: