Armenia is currently in the midst of an information war. Information warfare does not only concern Armenia since numerous societies across the globe currently debate how to manage the consequences of it. Although modern technology has created greater access to information, it has also eased the flow of false information, propaganda and manipulation.
The use of social media makes every nation vulnerable to the spread of false information, and these threats have long been overlooked. This has been confirmed by both the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the recent aggravation of Russian-Western relations. In any case, information warfare is among the most significant types of conflicts. And today, a significant amount of human and financial resources are being spent on the promotion of propaganda throughout the world.
This situation isn’t new for Armenia. Since the early 2000s, Azerbaijan has been actively using information technology for anti-Armenian propaganda. Initially, various propaganda activities were carried out by non-governmental groups. But eventually, Baku started to control, manage, and finance propaganda tactics against Armenia and the diaspora.
Until 2009, anti-propaganda efforts in Armenia were implemented by various non-governmental groups that tried to do what Yerevan wasn’t doing at the official level. In 2009 the Concept of Information Security entered into force; it began to regulate the functions of the state in order to balance the information war with Azerbaijan. Officially, Baku uses many more resources in this direction, but the information war requires not only money, but also intellectual potential, which allows Armenia an opportunity to level the playing field.
Author – Samvel Martirosyan, information security expert
The post is part of a project on Engaging society and decision-makers in dialogue for peace over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict implemented by the Caucasus Institute and funded by the UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund. The opinions and statements that are made in the publication may not coincide with the official position of the UK Government.