Information Manipulation and Organised Crime: Examining the Nexus


Disinformation has snowballed in recent years, thriving in the era of COVID-19, with the need for clarity around the subject greater than ever, particularly against the backdrop of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

This 6-month FCDO-backed project aims to plug a gap in knowledge about information manipulation– in particular its relationship to serious organised crime and corruption - and is conducted within the frame of the Serious Organised Crime Anti-Corruption Evidencing (SOC-ACE) Programme.

It aims to explore how information manipulation is spread through organised crime groups and those of actors connected to them and how it is interwoven with serious organised crime and grand corruption. The proximity to state-connected structures, the evolving methods and the intensity of information manipulation activity are among the main elements taken on board to create a novel conceptual framework to examine this nexus.

Observational data was collected from several geographies, with a particular focus on Eastern Europe and the post-Soviet space, including Ukraine, Russia, Moldova (Transnistria), and the Western Balkans.

It is hoped the research will contribute to a greater understanding of the threat posed by misuse of information and present a framework for analysis that can be tested in future work.

October 2023 - Research Paper 22 - SOC ACE Project: Information manipulation and organised crime