Online Information Manipulation: Experiences, Challenges, and International Practice

News | Memory and Disinformation Studies | INTERNET AND INNOVATIONS | Analysis 25 November 2021



In terms of research, the development of the following areas is especially important in the Georgian context: a comparative analysis of the spread of disinformation narratives online and in the physical space; the study of the trends in information dissemination and basic communication behaviors in different segments of society, including minorities; finding ways to enhance media literacy in society through intergenerational dialogue; the study of the connection between sources of social polarization and disinformation narratives.


Given this context, it is also important to examine the results of different intervention methods as well as to analyze online information consumption habits of vulnerable segments.[1] Studies of this type are important not only for better understanding the issue itself and analyzing the nature of the online-created narratives, but also for comprehending the effectiveness of the programs implemented. Examining online consumer behavior and information consumption trends is also important for developing specific response mechanisms. For example, such research would determine whether the counter-narratives reach the same target groups as do the disinformation narratives.


[2]At the same time, it should be noted that Georgia's Soviet past is often a target of information manipulation. Politicized historical narratives are often created and disseminated by the Russian Federation in the post-Soviet space.


[3] In this regard, it is important, through collaboration with the academy, to disprove manipulated historical narratives and rethink memory policies. The weaponization of such narratives often provides a solid basis for the spread of anti-Western propaganda as well.


The dialogue between the state and the civil society sector for improving the information environment and the level of media literacy in Georgia is an important challenge. International practice shows that the role of the state is not limited to drafting regulations, but also includes the development of mechanisms for media literacy and adaptation of existing legislation. It is noteworthy that the state has opportunities  to expand educational programs and, in line with international best practices,[4] include media literacy in the national curriculum. Media literacy is crucial for the society to develop the necessary skills to navigate online spaces and critically evaluate received information.[5]Strengthening the STRATCOMs in state structures and the effectiveness of their work, from the perspective of civil society and media organizations, also remains challenging in Georgia. 





[1] “0. Executive Summary | Countering Disinformation,” accessed November 11, 2021,

[2] “4. Evaluative Research for Counter-Disinformation Programs | Countering Disinformation,” accessed November 11, 2021,

[3] ​​Juurvee, Ivo, Vladimir Sazanov, Kati Parppei, Edgars Engizers, Ieva Palasz, and Malgordzata Zawadzka. “Falsification of History as a Tool of Influence.” StratCom | NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence Riga, Latvia, January 2021.

[4] About the Author Lucie Stastna Lucie Šťastná is a PhD c et al., “Journalists and Schools Work Together to Teach Media Literacy,” European Journalism Observatory - EJO (blog), December 24, 2017,

[5] “Teaching Media Literacy in Europe: Evidence of Effective School Practices in Primary and Secondary Education,” NESET, accessed November 11, 2021,



/public/upload/Analysis/Online-Manipulation-final pdf.pdf

Other Publications on This Issue