“How might Defence and Industry design counter-influence teams and tools to support and protect the Australian public from harmful misinformation campaigns?”
Our relationship with information has changed significantly over the past three decades. The way in which we consume information is constantly evolving due to technological advances. In many ways, this evolving relationship can be regarded as positive. Australians now have greater access to critical information affecting their daily lives; including everything from shopping for groceries through to engaging directly with our political representatives. However, despite its benefits, this information revolution also represents hazards and dangers to the nation and its citizens.
Online scams cost Australians $532 million a year. Foreign governments interfere in democratic elections through social media. Algorithmic marketing monitors our personal information to target our shopping needs. Terrorist and violent extremist organisations are using marketing techniques in online magazines and social media to attract new recruits from across the globe. National discussions on serious issues, such as natural disaster events and civil rights referendums, are subjected to sustained misinformation campaigns and fake news. Lastly, mainstream media is influenced by the interests of advertisers, rather than a desire to provide bipartisan, fact-based news. All of this translates into an era of misinformation to which the Australian public is increasingly coming into contact with, designed to harm or defraud them.
National policing and security agencies, including the Department of Defence, have a remit to protect Australians from harm. Traditionally, this role had been exercised in physical environments, such as at land, sea, or in the air. In modern times, however, the safety of Australians is at risk in the information environment, fording these same agencies to adapt in order to support and protect Australians.
The goal of this Truth Hack is to find ways in which Defence and Industry can support and protect Australians from fake news and harmful misinformation campaigns. We want to know what tools can be developed to enable Australians to protect themselves in the information environment. Furthermore, how can Defence and Industry design teams to support Australians in countering harmful misinformation campaigns?
Help us create solutions to stop this misinformation revolution.
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