When NATO’s Centre for Strategic Communication in Riga discovered how easy it was to dupe its soldiers online, it has started looking for ways of countering false information, which comes, in large part, from Russia.
On Tinder, a popular dating app, some even communicated with a woman, sending pictures of themselves in uniform. One evening, two soldiers even arranged to meet the virtual woman. They both left their post for her, a move which proved to be a mistake.
The website for soldiers and the Tinder profile was tested by a group of men and women in a low-rise building in Riga, in NATO’s Centre for Strategic Communication, which is supported by Germany.
Janis Sarts, who previously worked for the Latvian defence ministry, is now leading a group of 50 people in the NATO centre, which analyses disinformation campaigns, also called ‘Fake News’.
Here is the website for the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence (NATO StratCom COE), which became functional in January 2014.
The think tank has run a similar operation using Facebook and Instagram.
A number of foreign governments have been using fake LinkedIn profiles (including fake think tank experts) to lure legitimate think tankers and others into spying for them.