Peter Pomerantsev: The Mechanics of Russia's Information War
1 September, 2016

What You Need To Know:

✅ The Brexit referendum took place on June 23rd, 2016.
✅ The UK Electoral Commission reported that 52% voted in favor of leaving the European Union and 48% voted to remain. 
✅ According to Legatum Institute Fellow Peter Pomerantsev, the media had a remarkable impact on the results.

“All the major newspapers were for Brexit: The Daily Telegraph, The Sun, The Daily Mail. The biggest broadsheet, the biggest middle-market paper, the biggest tabloid. It was a victory for the very classical communication or propaganda, whatever you want to call it,” Mr. Pomerantsev told Hromadske International. Pomerantsev thinks that Brexit supporters ran an innovative campaign but that it was the newspapers who won it.

“There were some big lies. Fact checkers found that most of the time both sides were using the facts they needed. We had authorities to reference in the past. Now there are many points of authority, and people just pick the one they need. Social media and Google strengthen this trend. You end up confirming your bias,” says the author.

“Information revolutions are empowered by totalitarian regimes. Information technologies empower demagogues and manipulators. And it takes time for society to build its defense.

Hromadske’s Nataliya Gumenyuk spoke to Peter Pomerantsev, British author and Legatum Institute Fellow on August 27th, 2016 in Kyiv.