The struggle is providing Western democracies with an opportunity to counter Russia’s disinformation by undertaking efforts to strengthen civil society and civic engagement. Some analysts believe the best way to counter Russia’s social media disinformation campaigns is by increasing funding to social media projects that promote Western values and campaigns to allow for efforts to identify and counter anti-West bots and trolls. If this route is chosen, significant funding should be provided to the Western contractors and local nongovernmental organizations to marshal both human capital and technology.
A second option is to increase support to both pro-Western social media efforts and grassroots movements. Disinformation campaigns often identify and exploit the vulnerabilities of a given society, such as racism, discrimination or nationalism. It makes good sense for Western democracy-development efforts to tailor their technological collaboration and educational, training and public outreach assistance to focus on grassroots movements working to address the vulnerabilities.