Frequently asked questions
Psychological defence is the collective ability of society to resist foreign malign influence activities and other disinformation directed at Sweden. Our resilience will prevent or diminish the effects of antagonistic attempts to influence our decisions, perceptions or behaviour.
During peacetime as well as a heightened state of alert or war, psychological defence aims to ensure Sweden’s freedom and independence, an open and democratic society with freedom of opinion and free media.
Many actors contribute to the psychological defence. Free and independent media is a key player along with agencies and institutions, but you as an individual also play an important role. By increasing your knowledge and awareness regarding disinformation – its existence, how it is spread and can pose a threat, reduces the risk of malign influence affecting our society.
The Swedish Psychological Defence Agency works long-term and preventively by implementing training and exercises, conducting research, and through active involvement in international cooperation. We study and develop methods and disseminate our knowledge to the general population and relevant actors. In the short term we closely monitor and follow the information environment in our immediate area as well as internationally. We identify, analyse and are prepared to act rapidly when required.
We also facilitate collaboration between agencies and other actors to build preparedness and create conditions for coordinated operational action.
Disinformation can generate anxiety, fuel hatred and doubt thereby increasing the vulnerabilities in society. This can be exploited by interests that want to threaten and disrupt Swedish society and our independent decision-making. In addition it can challenge public health, vital societal functions and our fundamental values such as democracy, the rule of law and fundamental human rights and freedoms.
A large part of misleading information is spread without any intent to deceive, even though the effects can be harmful. This is termed misinformation.
Disinformation, on the other hand, is created and disseminated with malicious intent, for economic gain or to deceive a target audience. It is utilized, for example, by actors with an agenda to damage confidence in Sweden and our democratic society by exploiting polarizing societal issues.
By becoming more aware and learning to recognize misleading information you increase your resilience to being influenced by it. To have an effect, disinformation depends on people sharing it, and it is therefore important to be watchful when sharing information and employ source criticism.
When Sweden is affected by serious events that can lead to societal stress or crises – locally or nationally – you will find verified information from agencies and other responsible actors at www.krisinformation.se
You can also call 113 13, Sweden’s information number in case of major accidents and crises. You can call 113 13 to both leave and receive verified information, and the service is available 24 hours a day.
Yes, in Sweden our freedom of speech and opinion is protected by the constitution. Government agencies also have a responsibility to ensure there is awareness of foreign malign information influence activities and disinformation directed at Sweden. This is to protect vital societal functions, public health and our fundamental values such as democracy, the rule of law and fundamental human rights and freedoms.