A world tour of informatiom politics that may not quite tell us something we had not already suspected, but does sketch out the scale and extent (and measures taken to ensure) that media and politics are intertwined, and exploited to manipulate what we do and do not know. Equal parts fascination, alarming and necessary.
When information is a weapon, everyone is at war. We live in a world of influence operations run amok, a world of dark ads, psy-ops, hacks, bots, soft facts, ISIS, Putin, trolls, Trump. We’ve lost not only our sense of peace and democracy – but our sense of what those words even mean. As Peter Pomerantsev seeks to make sense of the disinformation age, he meets Twitter revolutionaries and pop-up populists, ‘behavioural change’ salesmen, Jihadi fan-boys, Identitarians, truth cops, and much more. Forty years after his dissident parents were pursued by the KGB, he finds the Kremlin re-emerging as a great propaganda power. His research takes him back to Russia – but the answers he finds there are surprising.
Part reportage, part intellectual adventure, ‘This is Not Propaganda’ is a Pynchon-like exploration of how we can reimagine our politics and ourselves in a time where truth has been turned topsy-turvy.