“As Ukrainians fight for their lives, it’s time to permanently remove pro-Putin propaganda from US military bases. Stop brainwashing our troops.
As the GOP has embraced white nationalism and authoritarianism—and as Tucker Carlson and Fox News have become passionate boosters of tyrants like Vladimir Putin and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán—the danger of allowing the enemies of democracy to brainwash our troops has only mounted.” – Daily Edge
Defenders of Democracy Against Disinformation (DDAD) is a nonprofit clearinghouse of concrete actions to fight against the normalization of disinformation. This blog describes their Open Letter campaign to ask Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to:
- Acknowledge that some channels labeled as “news” are conveying pro-Putin propaganda.
- Deem that the nature of information conveyed on public TVs on U.S. military installations has national security implications.
- Protect national security by limiting channels available on public TVs on all military installations to non-news channels.
Stop Russian Brainwashing StoryMap
Tucker Carlson cheerleads for Putin
“Tucker Carlson was echoing Kremlin talking points for a week before the actual invasion. His rants are being replayed with subtitles on the state-run Russian television, like he is a hero… Fox News is not on the side of the U.S.” – Daily Edge
- Tucker Carlson addressed events in Ukraine, often using arguments made by Vladimir Putin.
- The Fox News host repeated criticisms of Ukraine’s democratic stability and claim to nationhood.
- Carlson has often been sympathetic to the Russian president while attacking the Biden administration.
- Business Insider
“Former and current US military members are calling on bases and other buildings to turn off Fox News.” – Independent
Storytelling to fight Russian propaganda
DDAD’s campaign to block pro-Putin propaganda from U.S. military bases has four segments designed with mostly free software:
- One minute video explaining the issue – free iMovie app
- Map of U.S. military bases – ArcGIS Online ($150/year for nonprofits)
- Open letter demand – free Google Forms
- QR Code directing people to the Open Letter – free QR Code Generator app
- Assembling the interactive story – StoryMaps ($150/year for nonprofits)
Create advocacy videos with iMovie
iMovie is a free, easy to use app from Apple that’s ideal for creating campaign videos. The DDAD campaign has a one minute long video which incorporates images, short news clips and cartoons. The video uses the Darth Vader theme tune behind Tucker Carlson and a military marching tune behind the call to action segment.
Add maps to your story
The DDAD StoryMap uses a map created with ArcGIS Online that show Ukraine, Russia and some American military bases in Europe. Clicking on a military base provides more details about it from publicly available sources. Maps make it easier for readers to understand the issue at a glance and dig in for details that interest them.
Make it visually appealing
People are busy and have short attention spans. Grab people’s attention with images and cartoons. The DDAD campaign uses cartoons licensed from Political Cartoons and copies of tweets. Remember to attribute the source you used.
Use humor in your story. Often a cartoon captures the essence of an issue better than words. See the eight cartoons below.
Make your call to action clear
DDAD directs people to sign their Open Letter through a link which has been shortened with the free Bit.ly service. DDAD also offers a QR Code to make it easier for people to respond. This QR Code appears in both their video and StoryMap.
Share your message through partners
DDAD makes it easy for other groups fighting disinformation to share its story. They provide a URL that can be shared on social media and leads to their StoryMap and by providing it as a line of code that they can add to their website.
< iframe src=”https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/36e0907541c04291ad7f0c08b2dacbb3?header” width=”100%” height=”500px” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen allow=”geolocation”></iframe>
Defenders of Democracy Against Disinformation (DDAD)
Defenders of Democracy Against Disinformation (DDAD) is a nonprofit clearinghouse of concrete actions to fight against the normalization of disinformation. Its founders are united by a revulsion to media outlets whose business model depends on enabling and disseminating disinformation. They were dismayed by the passivity of governments, corporations and professionals in the face of this depravity and their reluctance to utilize every tool at their disposal to prevent our country from drowning in a sea of lies and conspiracy theories.
DDAD is a 501(c)4 social welfare organization. Everyone developing and promoting DDAD campaigns is a volunteer and all of the wherewithal for campaigns has been contributed by the five co-founders: a retired teacher/teacher preparation expert, a management consultant, a retired engineer, a doctor, and a lawyer. We live in five different states; we are united in our commitment to countering disinformation. Learn more.
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