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Of all the threats that have arisen in recent years populism, nationalism, illiberalism one stands out as a key enabler of the rest: the proliferation and weaponization of disinformation.Governments, lobby groups and other interests have long relied on disinformation as a tool of manipulation and control.What is new is the ease with which disinformation can be produced and disseminated. Beyond introducing falsehoods into public discourse, the spread of disinformation can undermine the possibility of discourse itself, by calling into question actual facts. It was only after the 2016 Brexit referendum and U.S. presidential election that the power of disinformation to reshape politics began to attract attention.Now, systematic efforts to fight disinformation are underway. Early this month, the Atlantic Council organized #DisinfoWeek Europe, a series of strategic dialogues focused on the global challenge of disinformation.Three decades after the Cold War's end, this remains the core challenge facing the West: to measure up to our "own best traditions," and to prove that our liberal democratic ideals are "worthy of preservation".
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