About this report

The following topics are addressed in the report:

  • What is the role of social media in hybrid warfare? How is it ‘weaponised’?
  • What techniques and tactics do state and non-state actors employ to support their political and military aims using social media? What effects can they achieve?
  • What can NATO and its member nations do to identify and counter the malicious use of social media? 

We hope that this paper will serve as a comprehensive introduction and useful educational material for anyone interested in understanding the complexity of today’s information environment, and specifically the techniques of influence used in the digital space. 

The report summarises the conclusions of research commissioned by the StratCom COE—Internet trolling as hybrid warfare tool: the case of Latvia by the Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA) in cooperation with Riga Stradiņš University, Social influence in Russia-Ukraine-conflict-related communication in social media by a team of Polish researchers, Network of terror: how Daesh uses adaptive social networks to spread its message by Joseph Shaheen, US State Department Fellow at the StratCom COE, as well as discussions from the seminars and conferences conducted by the COE over the course of 2015.