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Combatting foreign disinformation and information manipulation

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Canada's efforts to counter foreign disinformation and information manipulation

The Government of Canada is committed to promoting the integrity of the global information space while upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms. This is why we are stepping up efforts to counter disinformation at home and abroad using a fact-based approach that is rooted in transparency.

Monitoring information space

The Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) Canada monitors and documents state-sponsored disinformation and other information manipulation tactics that may be part of broader efforts to undermine democracy. RRM Canada's reporting informs and guides Canada's response to information manipulation and disinformation.

Raising awareness on international stage

Canada uses its platform on the international stage to shine light on state-sponsored disinformation and its threat to democracy. This is done through engagement with other states, supporting international efforts to countering information manipulation, and supporting programming efforts that work to strengthen media awareness and resiliency to disinformation and information manipulation.

Exposing disinformation and information manipulation

The Government of Canada dedicates resources to uncover state actors’ false claims and set the record straight by Countering disinformation with facts.

Canada also exposes Russia’s use of disinformation and information manipulation, which it has used to justify its illegal, unprovoked and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine on and use our social media platforms to raise awareness publicly.

Canada also calls out foreign information manipulation operations. In 2023, Canada detected and publicly attributed two information manipulation campaigns from China, targeting Canadian parliamentarians:

Coordinating international response

Canada has used its influence on the international stage to lead and support international efforts to counter state-sponsored disinformation. Canada leads the G7 Rapid Response Mechanism Secretariat, which strengthens coordination between G7 countries to identify and respond to diverse and evolving foreign threats to democracy, including countering foreign disinformation and information manipulation.

In addition, Canada has:

Sanctioning disinformation agents

Canada has imposed sanctions against individuals and entities that are responsible for spreading false narratives and propaganda.

Sanctions – Russian invasion of Ukraine tracks Canada's sanctions against disinformation and propaganda actors in the context of Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Foreign disinformation and information manipulation

Democracies rely on access to diverse, accurate and reliable information and news. This allows citizens and other members of society to develop informed opinions, take part in public debate, and hold governments to account.

Information integrity, or the accuracy and reliability of content, enables democratic institutions and processes to function properly.

Malign actors, including states and their proxies, threaten information integrity by spreading:

The Government of Canada shares information on online disinformation, its harms, and tips and tools to spot disinformation.

Impact of foreign disinformation

Disinformation and other forms of information manipulation erode information integrity and weaken democracy.

Disinformation can undermine democratic and civic engagement. It hinders open public debate and erodes trust in democratic institutions and media. Disinformation can also lead to physical, psychological and medical harms, especially in times of crisis.

Reasons for spreading disinformation

Malicious foreign actors manipulate information or spread disinformation for many reasons, including to:

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