image by katisommer
…And now they are focusing on Russia. After the terror-suspected Arabic, Persian, and Urdu-speaking nations, US Department of State has officially launched the „war of ideas” on Russian Internet.
I have been always fascinated by the cleverness of the American propaganda techniques, in that very case I find it amazing that they actually announce it.
The Department of State directly engages participants in online discussion forums and blogs on the Internet through the Digital Outreach Team. It was created in the summer of 2007 as a result of Karen Hughes’s U.S. National Strategy for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication as a non-BBG media activity that could help counteract negative propaganda about the U.S.
Under Secretary of State James Glassman explained that there are three elements to the teams’ work. They explain American policy, encourage cultural exchange and engage in a “war of ideas.” The war of ideas has received particular emphasis in recent months. It is, according to Glassman, the use words to combat violent extremism.
How does it exactly work? The members of the Digital Outreach Team enter into digital conversations online either on other people’s blogs or other websites. Apparently they identify themselves as working for the United States Government and they are participating in the conversation. (I wonder if they will always do that!?). Russian bloggers notice that the “agents” not merely discuss the American policy, but express their keen interest in the bloggers themselves, their connections, their mood… Basically being very “caring guys”.
Interestingly, Russian officials have not officially reacted to that strategy. Russian bloggers are discussing it very actively, however. Some make comparisons to the so-called “Dulles plan” to undermine the Soviet government, while others compare it to the activities of the FSB, to which some attribute 60-80 percent of all communications on political forums since 2003.
I found this news not only interesting because I am still willing to start a blog propagating Russia 🙂 but also because I am professionally involved into Web 2.0 monitoring and know quite a bit of how ACTUALLY Internet is being watched and manipulated. And I am sure it will get even more captivating and brutal, since Internet propaganda is one of the most cheapest and efficient means of control.
HAPPY BLOGGING 🙂