Information Operations

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Information operations and warfare, also known as influence operations, includes the collection of tactical information about an adversary as well as the dissemination of propaganda in pursuit of a competitive advantage over an opponent. RAND research has enabled military leaders and policymakers to develop strategies and policy frameworks to address the challenges of these military operations.

  • The business centre Lakhta-2, which reportedly houses internet research companies known for the trolling on social media, in St. Petersburg, Russia, February 20, 2018, photo by Anton Vaganov/Reuters

    Commentary

    Exposing Russian Information Operations Does Not Violate the First Amendment

    May 11, 2020

    Russia's hostile information operations are continuous and extend to a broad range of domestic issues. First Amendment concerns are important, but they do not protect hostile information campaigns by foreign actors, nor are they a legal excuse for inaction by the United States.

  • Illustration of social media users and trolls, image by dem10/Getty Images

    Report

    Machine Learning Can Help Detect Misinformation Online

    Jun 23, 2020

    As social media is increasingly being used as a primary source for news, there is a rising threat from the spread of malign and false information. A new machine learning model identified differences between authentic political supporters and Russian trolls shaping online debates about the 2016 U.S. election. How could the model be applied in the future?

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    William Marcellino

    Senior Behavioral and Social Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education Ph.D. in rhetoric, Carnegie Mellon University

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    Krystyna Marcinek

    Assistant Policy Researcher; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education M.A. in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies, Jagiellonian University, Poland

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    Christopher Paul

    Senior Social Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. in sociology, University of California, Los Angeles

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    Benjamin James Sacks

    Associate Policy Researcher
    Education Ph.D. in history, Princeton University; M.A. in history, Princeton University; B.A. in history, Tufts University

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    Michael Schwille

    Senior Policy Analyst
    Education M.A. in international development studies, George Washington University; B.A. in history, University of Pittsburgh

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    Anthony Vassalo

    Senior International/Defense Policy Researcher
    Education BS, USMA; MA in history, Duke; ALM in management, Harvard

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    Jonathan Welch

    Senior Policy Analyst
    Education M.A. in international relations and international economics, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies; B.E. in marine engineering, State University of New York Maritime College