Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) disinformation is defined as intentionally misleading and deceptive information about CBRN threats that can potentially cause serious political, financial, and physical harm to governments, international organizations, the scientific community, academia, industry, and the population at large.
In recent years, non-state actors (including terrorists, violent extremists, and organized criminal groups) have exploited vulnerabilities in the social media ecosystem to spread false information and manipulate people in relation to CBRN threats.
Countries in the Southeast and Eastern Europe region of the European Union CBRN Centres of Excellence (CoE) Initiative, especially Ukraine, have been significantly impacted by the dissemination and weaponization of disinformation in recent years, due to the armed conflicts in the region.
In order to respond to this threat, and thanks to the generous funding of the European Commission, UNICRI has translated its Handbook to Combat CBRN Disinformation into Ukrainian.
The Handbook, first published by UNICRI in January 2023, was produced by monitoring several social media platforms, paying specific attention to the role of violent non-state actors, namely violent extremists, terrorist organizations and organized criminal groups.
The Handbook aims at enhancing understanding of CBRN disinformation on social media while developing competencies to prevent and respond to disinformation with a specific focus on techniques for debunking false information. It has been designed for individuals or entities working in CBRN risk mitigation at different levels (communication, decision-making, managerial, operational, technical, etc.) who have been or could potentially be exposed to and targeted by disinformation.
The Handbook equips practitioners with the competencies to effectively analyse, understand and respond to CBRN disinformation in the media and on social media platforms.
Since 2020, UNICRI has been monitoring the malicious use of social media and analysing existing technology options to detect and debunk false information to understand the advantages and possible challenges of each option in the short and long term.
In January 2023, the Institute published its findings as part of the Handbook to debunk CBRN disinformation, a practical guide designed for individuals or entities working in CBRN risk mitigation at different levels. The Institute is currently delivering related capacity-building activities to partner countries within the framework of the EU CBRN CoE Initiative, funded by the European Union.
To learn more about UNICRI's work in addressing CBRN disinformation, please click here.
To learn more about the EU CBRN CoE Initiative, please click here.