How to Address Complex Security Challenges : Fostering International Solidarity

Special Session 2

Media and Warfare: Tackling Disinformation


With the advancement of communication technology and expanding influence of social media, modern warfare is exhibiting simultaneous execution of conventional battle and information war on social media. What constitutes such information war is that not only the government, military, and major media of the participating countries, but also the general public across the world become its participants.

Through multiple photo and video records in real-time, even those who do not directly participate in the war are also exposed to its development and horrors. Anyone with access to the Internet and participates in social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter will, in fact, be able to participate in warfare by accessing and sharing social network feeds.

Given that such information warfare on social media ultimately affects the direction of the war by influencing public opinion and military morale of domestic, foreign, and opposing countries, the effects of disinformation on the trend of war and response strategies should be closely examined.

The wars that have occurred in 2022 show a common aspect that the participating countries tried to gain the legitimacy of war both internally and externally by controlling the domestic media market and information flow, and spreading disinformation propaganda during the preparatory process. At the same time, they recognized the limited response capability against the opposing countries' information warfare and propaganda strategy as one of the major security threats and put effort into enhancing the response capability at the government level. During this process, social media has played a critical role in forming public opinion, and countries have adopted strategies to utilize truth and disinformation as part of their military strategy.

This session will provide an opportunity to discuss the effects of the general public's reinforced access to information, which is enabled by advancements of new digital technologies and prevalence of social media, on modern information warfare. Especially, the effects of disinformation on the dynamics of modern warfare will be analyzed and the possible directions of response from the military perspective will be explored. Furthermore, such military responses and cooperation among the military and civil actors including platform corporations, civil society, and academia will be examined. Global security cooperation framework in response to disinformation will also be devised.