Episode Two: Truth vs Lies
This episode explores a battle between truth and lies that’s threatening democracies around the world. It looks at how information is used as a weapon, not just by hostile foreign states, seeking to divide and weaken rival nations, but also by domestic politicians and other actors.
Sky News journalist Deborah Haynes speaks to the author of a book on the history of disinformation, Professor Thomas Rid , who talks about fake news during the Cold War and warns about the risk of political violence today when people can no longer agree on facts.
It’s a warning that played out on the streets of Washington DC in January when supporters of Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol building, spurred on by a false belief that Joe Biden had stolen his way to victory in the 2020 presidential election.
Deborah also visits one of the UK’s best-known fighters of suspected Russian and Chinese fake news, who battles online trolls from his remote cottage in Scotland. And if you think that sounds strange, remember, in the grey zone, the frontline is everywhere!
Thomas Rid, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University, author of Active Measures – the secret history of disinformation and political warfare
Linas Linkevicius, foreign minister of Lithuania until December 2020
Keir Giles, author of a handbook on Russian information warfare for NATO, senior consulting fellow at Chatham House
Daniel Jones, founder and president of Advance Democracy
Ben Nimmo, head of investigations at Graphika
Ben Wallace, United Kingdom’s defence secretary
Kate Jones, director of Oxford University’s diplomatic studies programme.
Written and narrated by Deborah Haynes
Edited and produced by Chris Scott
Production support from Sophia McBride and Victoria Seabrook
Additional voices provided by Cayetano Delgado
The head of Sky News Radio is Dave Terris