"StratCom stands for strategic communications, which is a euphemism used in circles close to US and NATO analytical think tanks to define propaganda and counterpropaganda," François-Bernard Huyghe, Director of Research at the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS), told Sputnik.
According to an official Q&A on East StratCom, the team, operational since September 2015, was set up to explain key policies of the European Union and create "a positive EU narrative." The group is said to consist of ten communication experts, some of whom previously worked at the EU institutions. They are believed to speak several languages, including Russian.
The task force "should expose a deliberate lie used to achieve strategic objectives. It is not enough to criticize an ideological illusion. … They should prove that it is a case of willful misrepresentation, in other words a case of someone maliciously releasing information which he or she knows to be untrue," the analyst explained.
Interestingly, the team said that information, opinions and judgments published as part of its EU Disinformation Review "do not represent official EU positions."
East StratCom has nearly 12,500 followers on Facebook and 13,200 on Twitter, but Huyghe maintained that the task force has little impact on public opinion.
"I haven't seen anything major published in the media. If this is all done to say that Sputnik is a pro-Russian outlet sharing a worldview alternative to the one offered by the European Union, we already know this," he said.
François-Bernard Huyghe appeared to indicate that European elites no longer want Europeans to research alternative opinions.
East StratCom has not responded to Sputnik's request for comment.
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