A Compendium of Recommendations for Countering Russian and Other State-Sponsored Propaganda

by Todd C. Helmus, Marta Kepe

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Research Questions

  1. What is the full slate of solutions available to policymakers?
  2. Which recommendations benefit from researcher consensus?

Researchers and policy analysts have authored a large number of studies and reports that offer recommendations for countering Russian influence and disinformation campaigns. The large number of reports and even larger number of specific policy recommendations make it difficult for policymakers, researchers, and other stakeholders to gather, read, and digest the full slate of reporting. To help these audiences make sense of the large array of counterdisinformation recommendations, the authors of this report coded recommendations in 64 other policy reports on countering Russian and other state-sponsored propaganda. The major categories identified and coded were social media platform policies, U.S. and allied government policies, coordination recommendations, awareness and education recommendations, and recommendations for supporting various media and media content.

Key Findings

  • Most reviewed studies recommend changes in government policies.
  • A comparatively smaller number of studies urged policies that support broadcast and related content media.
  • Falling in between are recommendations addressing social media platforms, coordination and synchronization mechanisms, and educational and awareness issues.
  • The most common recommendations urge expansion of media literacy initiatives and suggest that platforms improve policies designed to detect and remove foreign propaganda content and improve advertising practices.

This research was sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD).

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