“The Ukrainian crisis shows that the West has learned a lot about countering Russian propaganda in the past few years.,” New York Times opinion columnist Farhad Manjoo wrote in an essay published March 2, 2022, six days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began:
Social media companies are now adept at spotting and removing Russian disinformation. The Biden administration has been masterful at “prebunking” Russia’s moves; by disseminating intelligence about Russian plans almost as quickly as it collects it, the White House has managed to embarrass and undermine Russian efforts to control the Ukraine story.
That word prebunking—the link goes to an explainer published in First Draft in June 2021—has been cropping up frequently in coverage of the Ukraine conflict. But it isn’t new, and the Russian invasion isn’t the first occasion for its use.