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  • Writer's picturePeter Pomerantsev

“We Must Be Better Than Putin's Propaganda”


Christine Olsson /TT


Peter Pomerantsev, himself born in the Soviet Union, has written two books about, among other things, Russian propaganda, troll factories and fake news. Now he is warning democratic forces to focus too much on the opposing side's disinformation instead of their own message.


This week, the Swedish Academy organized a conference on the threats to freedom of expression. Among the international guests were, among others, the American historian Timothy Snyder and the Finnish-Estonian writer Sofi Oksanen - and then the British writer and journalist Peter Pomerantsev.

His books have dealt with information warfare and propaganda, often with a focus on Russia. In an interview with Kulturnyheterna, he warns against putting too much emphasis on exposing disinformation and lies from non-democratic forces, instead of highlighting correct facts in a way that makes people want to listen. - The essence of malignant propaganda is to create identities that are violent, paranoid and aggressive. It can't be countered by just exposing it as a lie, because it goes so much deeper than that.

"Wants to bring truth and justice together" Since it is difficult – perhaps even undesirable – to regulate the spread of misinformation in a democracy with freedom of expression, Peter Pomerantsev believes that one should instead compete with better communication.


Watch/read the full segment at SVT here.

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