Coping with Algorithmically Driven Disinformation

Something happened in the 2016 US Presidential election. Figuring out what, exactly, is a task far above our pay-grade. Some things, however, are obvious to anyone who has been paying attention to the Former Soviet Union: Many of the communications tactics employed to sway and confuse US audiences were perfected in Ukraine. Faced with instrumentalized disinformation from domestic and foreign actors, the US and Europe have proven poorly equipped to deal with it.

QGS has been operating in the murky communications environment of the Former Soviet Union since 2004. Christine Quirk started actively engaging in disinformation and algorithmic targeting soon after the 2016 US election, including studying new methodologies to track and and measure audience engagement with disinformation sources. 

Combined with the growing influence of kleptocratic economic and political interests, disinformation presents the greatest challenge to liberal democracy since World War II. Our knowledge of strateigc audience targeting along with our experience working in environments where disinformation has been used for years means that QGS can help you come up with strategy to respond.

Watch Ukraine in 2019

With up to three elections scheduled in 2019 (presidential primary and run-off, and parliamentary ballots), Ukraine is going to be the subject of a lot of international attention in the coming months. With an unpopular president, unpopular political parties and a disillusioned, undecided electorate, the outcome of all these contests is anyone's guess. 

Few western consultants have as much experience conducting opinion research in Ukraine as QGS. We have been operating there since just after the Orange Revolution in 2004 and have advised multiple USG, non-profits and private sector clients on its political landscape. Since late 2017 alone we have observed and analyzed more than 100 focus groups throughout the country on topics ranging from emerging political forces to Russian disinformation to LBBTQ rights to decentralization to energy sector and pension reform.

Because we have worked in almost all of Ukraine's Oblasts, from Donetsk to Rivne, we have a deep understanding of its regional nuances and how national political dynamics reflect them. We have solid relationships with qualitative and quantitative data collectors and can develop a research plan that helps reveal the currents shaping Ukrainian public opinion. We know which questions to ask to elicit the most actionable data. Contact us today to see how we can help you!