The Lawfare Podcast: Aric Toler on How Not to Report on Disinformation

By Jen Patja Howell
Thursday, May 7, 2020, 4:10 PM

For this week's episode of our Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Alina Polyakova talked to Aric Toler of Bellingcat, a collective that has quickly become the gold-standard for open source and social media investigations. Aric recently published a blog post in response to a New York Times article on Russian influence campaigns—one retweeted by former President Barak Obama no less—that Aric called “How Not to Report on Disinformation.” Evelyn and Alina asked him about the article and what exactly Aric thought was wrong with it as a case study in the challenges for reporters writing about disinformation operations. When are reporters helping to uncover threats to democracy, and when are they giving oxygen to fringe actors?