Information disorder, the Triumvirate, and COVID-19: How media outlets, foreign state intrusion, and the far-right diaspora drive the COVID-19 anti-vaccination movement


information disorder

How to Cite

Bajwa, A. (2021). Information disorder, the Triumvirate, and COVID-19: How media outlets, foreign state intrusion, and the far-right diaspora drive the COVID-19 anti-vaccination movement. The Journal of Intelligence, Conflict, and Warfare, 4(2), 16–45.


Information disorder has become an increasing concern in the wake of the 2016 US presidential election. With the state of the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolving in all facets, the vaccination debate has become increasingly polarized and subjected to a form of politics based around identity markers such as nationality, ethnicity, gender, and ideology. At the forefront of this is the COVID-19 anti-vaccination movement that has gained mainstream attention, leading to conflict with pro-vaccinationists. This has paved the way for exploitation by subversive elements such as, foreign state-backed disinformation campaigns, alternative news outlets, and right-wing influencers who spread false and misleading information, or disinformation, on COVID-19 in order to promote polarization of the vaccine debate through identity politics. Disinformation spread sows confusion and disorder, leading to the erosion of social cohesion as well as the potential for real-world conflict and violence. As a result, the article below will generate further understanding of the modern-day spread of disinformation, the strategies and tactics utilized by state and non-state actors, the effects of its exposure, and the social-psychological processes involved in its spread and resonance. Furthermore, in countering this phenomenon, this article recommends a collaborative framework involving emphasis on critical media literacy skills, citizen participation, and development of counter-offensive capabilities towards state-backed information operations.

Received: 2021-08-25
Revised: 2021-09-05



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Copyright (c) 2021 Aman Bajwa


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