CISA’s First Graphic Novel Series Tackles Greatest Terrorism Threat to U.S.: Misinformation
DHS calls it MDM, “mis- dis- and mal-information,” and according to the Feb. 7th National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin – February 07, 2022 (which is released quarterly), it is the greatest terrorism threat to the U.S.
Key factors contributing to the current heightened threat environment include:
- The proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions:
- For example, there is the widespread online proliferation of false or misleading narratives regarding unsubstantiated widespread election fraud and COVID-19. Grievances associated with these themes inspired violent extremist attacks in 2021.
- Malign foreign powers have and continue to amplify these false or misleading narratives in efforts to damage the United States.
- Continued calls for violence directed at U.S. critical infrastructure; soft targets and mass gatherings; faith-based institutions, such as churches, synagogues, and mosques; institutions of higher education; racial and religious minorities; government facilities and personnel, including law enforcement and the military; the media; and perceived ideological opponents. (1)
Cognitive Infrastructure Efforts Need to Expand and Innovate
In January, we used the Swedish Psychological Defence Authority as a case study in a nationwide effort to educate the general population about tools available for individual and collective defense against misinformation and, more importantly, the strategic framing the Swedes use to communicate that it is a civic responsibility to take responsibility for defending against misinformation.
It is time to move away from a pure analysis of the problem and to start testing tools and formats for mounting an American-style psychological defense and addressing the failures in our cognitive infrastructure.
Graphic novels, aka comic books, are a uniquely American art form – which may be a great place to start with a younger generation in the classroom, or when onboarding employees at a company or at a government agency. It is a compelling medium for many generations.
At least CISA thinks so – and has released the first in a series of graphic novels.
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