TA14 "Develop Narratives"

Belongs to phase P02 Prepare

Summary: The promotion of beneficial master narratives is perhaps the most effective method for achieving long-term strategic narrative dominance. From a ""whole of society"" perspective the promotion of the society's core master narratives should occupy a central strategic role. From a misinformation campaign / cognitive security perpectve the tactics around master narratives center more precisely on the day-to-day promotion and reinforcement of this messaging. In other words, beneficial, high-coverage master narratives are a central strategic goal and their promotion constitutes an ongoing tactical struggle carried out at a whole-of-society level. Tactically, their promotion covers a broad spectrum of activities both on- and offline.

TA14 Tasks

TA14 Techniques
T0003 Leverage Existing Narratives Use or adapt existing narrative themes, where narratives are the baseline stories of a target audience. Narratives form the bedrock of our worldviews. New information is understood through a process firmly grounded in this bedrock. If new information is not consitent with the prevailing narratives of an audience, it will be ignored. Effective campaigns will frame their misinformation in the context of these narratives. Highly effective campaigns will make extensive use of audience-appropriate archetypes and meta-narratives throughout their content creation and amplifiction practices.
T0004 Develop Competing Narratives Advance competing narratives connected to same issue ie: on one hand deny incident while at same time expresses dismiss. Suppressing or discouraging narratives already spreading requires an alternative. The most simple set of narrative techniques in response would be the construction and promotion of contradictory alternatives centered on denial, deflection, dismissal, counter-charges, excessive standards of proof, bias in prohibition or enforcement, and so on. These competing narratives allow loyalists cover, but are less compelling to opponents and fence-sitters than campaigns built around existing narratives or highly explanatory master narratives. Competing narratives, as such, are especially useful in the "firehose of misinformation" approach.
T0022 Leverage Conspiracy Theory Narratives "Conspiracy narratives" appeal to the human desire for explanatory order, by invoking the participation of poweful (often sinister) actors in pursuit of their own political goals. These narratives are especially appealing when an audience is low-information, marginalized or otherwise inclined to reject the prevailing explanation. Conspiracy narratives are an important component of the "firehose of falsehoods" model.
T0022.001 Amplify Existing Conspiracy Theory Narratives An influence operation may amplify an existing conspiracy theory narrative that aligns with its incident or campaign goals. By amplifying existing conspiracy theory narratives, operators can leverage the power of the existing communities that support and propagate those theories without needing to expend resources creating new narratives or building momentum and buy in around new narratives.
T0022.002 Develop Original Conspiracy Theory Narratives While this requires more resources than amplifying existing conspiracy theory narratives, an influence operation may develop original conspiracy theory narratives in order to achieve greater control and alignment over the narrative and their campaign goals. Prominent examples include the USSR's Operation INFEKTION disinformation campaign run by the KGB in the 1980s to plant the idea that the United States had invented HIV/AIDS as part of a biological weapons research project at Fort Detrick, Maryland. More recently, Fort Detrick featured prominently in a new conspiracy theory narratives around the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak and pandemic.
T0040 Demand insurmountable proof Campaigns often leverage tactical and informational asymmetries on the threat surface, as seen in the Distort and Deny strategies, and the "firehose of misinformation". Specifically, conspiracy theorists can be repeatedly wrong, but advocates of the truth need to be perfect. By constantly escalating demands for proof, propagandists can effectively leverage this asymmetry while also priming its future use, often with an even greater asymmetric advantage. The conspiracist is offered freer rein for a broader range of "questions" while the truth teller is burdened with higher and higher standards of proof.
T0068 Respond to Breaking News Event or Active Crisis Media attention on a story or event is heightened during a breaking news event, where unclear facts and incomplete information increase speculation, rumors, and conspiracy theories, which are all vulnerable to manipulation.
T0082 Develop New Narratives Actors may develop new narratives to further strategic or tactical goals, especially when existing narratives adequately align with the campaign goals. New narratives provide more control in terms of crafting the message to achieve specific goals. However, new narratives may require more effort to disseminate than adapting or adopting existing narratives.
T0083 Integrate Target Audience Vulnerabilities into Narrative An influence operation may seek to exploit the preexisting weaknesses, fears, and enemies of the target audience for integration into the operation’s narratives and overall strategy. Integrating existing vulnerabilities into the operational approach conserves resources by exploiting already weak areas of the target information environment instead of forcing the operation to create new vulnerabilities in the environment.

TA14 Counters

TA14 Detections