Citizens, governments, and tech platforms around the world increasingly struggle to counter influence operations.
The Social Media Lab is pleased to announce our partnership with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Partnership for Countering Influence Operations (PCIO). The initiative is led by co-directors, Alicia Wanless and James Pamment, nonresident scholars in the Technology and International Affairs Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. PCIO will serve as a convener to foster collaboration among the wide range of stakeholders working in this space. As an academic research partner, the Social Media Lab will work with other members to help shape the research aims and plan of this new international initiative.
Other institutional partners include Facebook, Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, Microsoft, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Mozilla, Twitter, and the Hewlett Foundation. (See the full list of partners and advisory board members here.)
We believe that little progress will be made without a spirit of partnership between governments, the tech industry, media, academia, and civil society. Such collaborations are challenging but necessary in order to accomplish the three aims that PCIO believes are vital: to answer difficult policy problems related to influence operations; to find ways to measure the effect of adversarial influence operations; and to develop methods for measurement and evaluation of countermeasures.
PCIO is an international initiative, with partners and programming spanning multiple countries including in Latin America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific. PCIO and its advisory group will work actively to shape and promote an international, cross-sectoral consensus on key issues that is informed by evidence and best practice. PCIO leverages Carnegie Endowment’s international networks, starting with its global centers, and complemented by a select number of strategic partnerships. PCIO serves a convening function and as such does not speak on behalf of its members.
The three interconnected pillars of PCIO programming are:
- Fostering Community:
- Mapping and analyzing existing networks and communities
- Convening working meetings and events to bring the community together, share research, and dig deeper into research questions
- Leading, supporting and providing strategic direction for multi-stakeholder projects and research community standards
- Answering Policy Problems:
- Working with the community to break difficult policy problems into researchable questions and publishing these in a “Problem Book,” which will guide policy research PCIO undertakes and supports
- Bringing together perspectives from diverse stakeholders to develop focused, innovative, and shared solutions to complex policy problems
- Understanding Influence Operations:
- Conducting and supporting research that puts influence operations into context as to measure their effects
- Finding methods to measure and evaluate influence operations countermeasures
- Testing policy and countermeasures through adversarial-designed exercises