Publication:
FRAMING THREATS TO HOMELAND SECURITY

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Authors
Komzelman, Michael J.
Subjects
disinformation
framing theory
framing effect
Operation Denver
2016 Election
COVID-19
Advisors
Dahl, Erik J.
Date of Issue
2023-03
Date
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
State and non-state actors like Russia and the Alt-Right use disinformation campaigns to target social and political fractures and polarize society on sensitive issues. U.S. agencies have continued to utilize variations of the same counter disinformation measures for the last 50 years. These measures have failed to keep pace with innovations by disinformation actors due to changes in the information environment and the speed of information diffusion. This thesis examines how framing theory can assist U.S. counter disinformation efforts. Framing theory proposes that the context, or frame, in which information is presented influences how individuals process the received information. In the context of this thesis, development of a strong frame consists of three elements: volume, credibility, and resonance. These elements are applied to three disinformation campaigns—Operation Denver, a Soviet campaign attributing HIV to the U.S.; #Pizzagate, a 2016 election interference campaign; and Plandemic, a non-state actor campaign targeting U.S. COVID-19 policy makers—and the countermeasures employed by U.S. agencies to each. This thesis contrasts disinformation campaigns and countermeasures using framing to demonstrate elements employed by disinformation actors and U.S. agencies to determine key differences that contribute to the successes and failures of disinformation countermeasures. This thesis proposes incorporating framing analysis into countermeasure planning and execution.
Type
Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Department
National Security Affairs (NSA)
Organization
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NPS Report Number
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release. Distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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