Thursday, May 27, 2021

Russia’s Propaganda Floods Belarus and Helps Subvert Democracy

At the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) recent virtual national conference, I moderated a panel on “Politics, Information and Disinformation.” One of the papers presented by Professor Natalie Rice of the University of Tennessee (with colleagues) tracked Russian and Belarusian propaganda and disinformation surrounding last year’s disputed election. It included a discussion relevant today as Belarus falls more deeply into authoritarianism. She identified the power of propaganda and disinformation directed by governments of Presidents Lukashenko and Putin to influence public opinion to accept the disputed election results. One of her observations was that local online supporters of the Belarus president and Russia’s interest were more extreme and intense in their support than the official media. 

Four additional papers were presented on the public information, especially disinformation, and the challenges in trying to correct misperceptions.

Session 4: Politics, Information, and Misinformation

Moderator: Floyd Ciruli, Ciruli Associates

Rural-Urban Divides, Partisanship, and Misinformation in Science: How Rural Resentment Moderates the Effect of Partisanship on Misinformation in Scientific Issues, Tomoko Okada, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Misinformed or Uninformed? The Prevalence and Consequences of Certainty in Political Misperceptions, Brian Guay, Duke University

The “Echo Chamber” and Its Impact on Political Knowledge, John Huffman, Growth Focused Insights and Research

Effectiveness of Russian Propaganda/Disinformation in the Near Abroad: The Case of Belarusian Presidential Election – 2020, Natalie Rice, University of Tennessee (others)

Public Attention to Information in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election Campaign, Josh Pasek, University of Michigan (others)

Thousands of people have gathered outside the state television
station in Belarus demanding full coverage of protests against
the disputed presidential election | Reuters

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