Georgia must bolster resilience to information warfare
Isabella Wilkinson and Tamar Dekanosidze consider the implications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine for the information landscape of and fight against disinformation in Georgia. Similar to in Ukraine, the Kremlin has been waging a long-term information campaign in Georgia, with war in Ukraine amplifying the urgency of decisive action to build resilience in Georgia against disinformation. Narratives perpetuated by Moscow capitalise on conservative and traditional values in Georgia by involving women and the LGBTQIA+ community, especially among activists or human rights defenders. These narratives are amplified by certain domestic figures, further confusing the information landscape, a situation only worsened throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Georgian civil society, media and government must overcome the significant polarisation which characterises Georgian politics and discourse, and engage in a whole-of-society approach to countering disinformation. The authors suggest that useful first steps could include improving coordination and enhancing technical capacity and public commitments by media outlets and platforms to shared standards for fighting disinformation.