On December 1, 2023, the Institute for Global Governance Research (GGR) hosted a GGR Brown Bag Lunch Seminar titled “Disinformation, Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior, and Present Digital Influence Operations” featuring Mr. Kazuki Ichida (Visiting Researcher, Cyber Security Research Institute, Meiji University).
Mr. Ichida started by expressing concern that there is currently no project that comprehensively grasps the overall picture regarding disinformation and internet opinion manipulation, although various approaches, such as national security, cyber security, and media theory exist. In this context, he explained the structure and current state of Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior (CIB), which is inspired by groups or countries with authoritarian values. According to Mr. Ichida, the increase in CIB begins with global changes such as excessive disparities, pandemics, and other global-scale issues. Subsequently, as regions and classes of society affected by these changes fail to see sufficient improvement through the policies enacted, authoritarianism advances. Finally, with support for the expansion of influence by various actors, CIB increases, completing one round of this continuous cycle. Mr. Ichida, based on this structure, evaluated that authoritarianism is adapting to a new environment, while democracy is clinging to past models. Additionally, Mr. Ichida pointed out a common misconception that results in statements such as, “Russia initiated social turmoil by engaging in influence operations in a peaceful society.”In reality, however, he highlighted that domestic divisions are critical contributing factors for Russia’s opinion manipulation.
In the Q&A session, questions were raised about the entities conducting CIB, their motives, the evaluation of countermeasures against influence operations by traditional media, the differences in outcomes resulting from different tactics employed by China and Russia, and the effectiveness of incorporating regulatory measures at the government level in the information space. Mr. Ichida argued that addressing not only inter-state conflicts but also domestic divisions is essential to counteract false information and internet opinion manipulation.
【Event report prepared by】
Juno Kim (Bachelor’s student, Faculty of Law)