Common systematic work with the civilized world will allow weakening propaganda – Viktor Berezenko, the founder of the ICM

Recently, with the support of the regional European office of the IFES in Prague and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the representatives of the Ukrainian company «Institute of Cognitive Modeling» have taken part in an online discussion on the topic «Influencing democracy? Role of the influencers in countering authoritarianism.»

In the last few years, the social media has changed the way we consume information, and the influencers have become one of its key sources. In the context of events in Europe and a full-scale russian invasion, opinion leaders can become a tool in countering threats to democracy such as disinformation, foreign interference, and digital authoritarianism.

At the same time, it is necessary to remember that Russian propaganda is using simple and cheap methods in the struggle for the consciousness of Europeans. Viktor Berezenko, the founder of the Institute of Cognitive Modeling, emphasized that during an online discussion.

«Any enemy propaganda targets emotions and appeals to trust. The simplest and cheapest tools are usually enough for this. However, they are effective, and therein lies the main challenge. Unfortunately, there are still no simple solutions to turn off the propaganda, because it is like a virus that has been living in the minds of millions of people for a long time. In order to «de-energize», weaken and defeat it, it is necessary to work systematically, with the help of the entire civilized world,» Berezenko noted. 

The event had also attended the Director of the regional European office of the IFES Magnus Oman, PhD and expert in strategic communications of the University of Prague Denisa Hejlova, manager of the IFES program «Europe and Eurasia» Daria Azariev-North and project manager of the Institute of Cognitive Modeling Inna Miroshnychenko.  

The Institute of Cognitive Modeling is a research company engaged in social technologies and providing services in the field of social communications. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the Institute has joined the fight in the information field, transforming the Telegram and Viber communities «Coronavirus_info», created three years ago to counter the coronavirus pandemic, into information channels «Ukraine NOW» and «Kraina_info» for the prompt informing of the Ukrainians about the situation in the country. Also, the company, together with international partners, is working in the direction of counter-propaganda and fighting Russian disinformation.