On February 13th, the Stockholm Free World Forum in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung hosted the mini conference Information Warfare and the Weaponization of Democracy. The conference aimed to discuss how information warfare does play out in 2018, and how well prepared the key actors and stakeholders are in Sweden in the wake of the election campaign. Specific topics included whether we should use the term fake-news, how troll factories operate and how traditional media should respond to information warfare.
In September 2018, Sweden is holding parliamentary elections. Since Russian interference in elections processes and destabilizing efforts in a number of Western countries became known, information warfare and destabilization attempts by foreign actors are at the top of the security policy agenda in many countries.
How does information warfare play out in 2018? What lessons can be learned from influence efforts across the West? How well prepared are the key actors and stakeholders in Sweden in the wake of the election campaign? These are some of the issues that were discussed during this half day event.
The conference began with introductory speech by Gunnar Hökmark, chairman of Stockholm Free World Forum and Elisabeth Bauer, Director of the KAS office for the Baltic States and Scandinavia. The program consisted of three panel discussions.
The first topic were ‘Information Warfare in a New Age‘ in which the participants Edward Lucas and Jessikka Aro shared their knowledge and experiences regarding the subject. Katarina Tracz, CEO of SFWF moderated the discussion which can be seen at SFWF’s YouTube Channel.
‘Threats against the Democratic Process‘ were the second subject of the day, and were discussed by Peter Pomeratsev, Martin Kragh and Mikael Tofvesson. The discussion was moderated by Anna Wieslander.
The conference ended with a discussion about ‘Media at the Front Line‘. Eva Burman, Anders Lindberg and Patrik Oksanen talked about media’s role in contemporary times of information warfare. Henrik Sundbom moderated the final discussion.