“I use ‘disruptive’ in both its good and bad connotations. Disruptive scientific and technological progress is not to me inherently good or inherently evil. But its arc is for us to shape. Technology’s progress is furthermore in my judgment unstoppable. But it is quite incorrect that it unfolds inexorably according to its own internal logic and the laws of nature.”
This report assesses the disinformation threat landscape in Taiwan and South Korea and identifies lessons learned for the US. While the 2016 presidential election highlighted the impact of disinformation on American politics, disinformation is a global challenge and has a long legacy in East Asian politics. By expanding the regional focus to Asia, the researchers aimed to identify how disinformation has been used as a political tool and how non-Western democratic countries have responded to this threat.
The researchers interviewed over fifty government officials, journalists, academics, and civil society stakeholders in the US, Taiwan, and South Korea to scope the threat and identify innovative solutions to combat disinformation. Based on this input, they compiled a series of recommendations for US policymakers and highlighted future trends that may impact American politics.
Bo Julie Crowley is a Master in Public Policy 2020 candidate at Harvard Kennedy School and a Belfer International and Global Affairs Student Fellow. She previously worked as a cybersecurity consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers and led cyber strategy projects for Fortune 50 clients across the telecom, media, and technology industries. After HKS, she hopes to transition to the public sector and contribute to cyber policy. Bo Julie obtained her BA in Government from Georgetown University with concentrations in Arabic and French.
Casey Corcoran is a dual-degree Master in Public Policy and Juris Doctorate candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Law School and a Belfer International and Global Affairs Student Fellow. He previously served as a Captain in the United States Army. After Harvard, he hopes to work on national security policy. Casey has a BA in International Studies and English from Boston College.
Raina Davis is a Master in Public Policy 2020 candidate at Harvard Kennedy School and a Belfer International and Global Affairs Student Fellow. Previously, she worked as a research coordinator at Columbia University in the Office of Global Centers and Global Development. Based in Amman Jordan, her research focused on education, democratization, and geopolitics in the Arab world. Raina’s policy interests include American foreign policy in a transformative age, cybersecurity, and the social and economic roots of radicalization. She holds a BA in International Relations from Stanford University.