Disinformation and Democracy: A Study in the Myanmar De Facto Military Authority’s Use of Disinformation to Discredit Non-Violent Democratic Activism

Fall 2021 Grant Recipient

Steve Parks (English), Nelson Camilo Sánchez León (Law), T. Kenny Fountain (English), Hannes Seibert, (Peace Appeal Foundation), and Myo Yan Naung Thein, Visiting Researcher/Member, Democratic Futures Working Group, UVA Democracy Initiative

The Burmese Democratic Futures Working Group brings together university faculty, Burmese democratic advocates, and non-profit democratic/human rights organization leadership to explore the history and current state of non-violent democratic movements in Myanmar. For this project, BDFWG will focus on the de facto military authority’s use of social media disinformation campaigns to discredit non-violent democratic activism, specifically through fomenting religious and ethnic divisions. In response, the BDFWG intends to determine the relative influence of disinformation campaigns on the emerging shift towards defensive armed struggle and explore what social media strategies might be deployed to reanimate non-violence as a strategic force in Myanmar’s struggle for democracy premised on ethnic and religious diversity.