The Australian government recently announced plans to establish the country’s first taskforce devoted to fighting disinformation campaigns, under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
Last week, Foreign Minister Marise Payne accused China and Russia of “using the pandemic to undermine liberal democracy” by spreading disinformation to manipulate social media debate.
“Where we see disinformation, whether it’s here, whether it’s in the Pacific, whether it’s in Southeast Asia, where it affects our region’s interests and our values, then we will be shining a light on it,” Payne said.
In her speech to Canberra’s National Security College, she claimed Australia is going through an “infodemic”. But is it really? And if so, what can be done about it?