The Effectiveness of UN Peacekeeping Operations

Published 17. Apr 2024
The Impact and Response to Misinformation, Disinformation, Malinformation and Hate Speech in the Digital Era

Information pollution – such as hate speech, misinformation, disinformation and malinformation – is an increasing threat to UN peacekeeping missions.

NORCAP's new report, in cooperation with EPON and Training for Peace at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), reveals how targeted campaigns of information pollution are harmful to both the peacekeeping missions and the communities they are there to protect.

The report outlines two main results of this practice:

  • The peacekeeping missions are undermined in the implementation of their mandates, which affects their work to protect civilians and credibility with the communities.
  • The safety and security of peacekeepers are at risk, with increased hostility and direct attacks on personnel and bases.

“This pollution of the information environment is like wildfire, and we have to find ways to mitigate its impact. We need more support for the peacekeeping missions on this, from UN headquarters and member states”, says NORCAP expert, Dr Lotte Vermeij, the main author of the report.

The report calls for dedicated guidance for missions, enhanced capacities to work with information streams, training of personnel and active strategies to debunk myths and engage effectively with communities.

“In several areas, missions are working with youth groups, local and regional influencers to counter the misinformation, disinformation, malinformation and hate speech. The pace at which harmful information spreads through channels like social media is unprecedented and we must find innovative ways to mitigate its destabilising and polarising impact”, Dr. Lotte Vermeij says.