Disinformation undermines public discourse and institutional stability, the foundations on which our democracy itself rests. Although disinformation is intentionally divisive, opposition to disinformation in all its forms should be the most uniting contemporary political issue, as love of democracy transcends partisanship and party.
While disinformation has often taken the form of propaganda created and promoted by national governments using state media outlets, in the 21st century there are new challenges. Non-state actors now exist who may profit from public confusion or division. New digital platforms where misleading or stolen documents can be laundered and distributed, including through unwitting news organizations. Algorithms optimized for engagement elevate incendiary claims and falsehoods. Historic low trust in media and partisan polarization has undermined the capacity of watchdogs and institutions to mitigate the risks.
Through a series of essays, “Defusing Disinfo” seeks to improve public understanding of
- The challenges that dramatic changes in the media and access to public information that the information technology revolution of the past decade have wrought
- The vulnerabilities in democratic system the 2016 election exposed
- Creative solutions to mitigate these risks and challenges.
We invite your feedback and ideas!
ABOUT STAND UP REPUBLIC FOUNDATION
The “Defusing Disinfo” project is funded and produced by Stand Up Republic Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening democracy both at home and abroad. Part of this mission is addressing the threats that weaponized disinformation pose to our republic.