On Thursday, March 25, 2021, at 12:00 p.m., the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee and the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee will hold a hearing on social media's role in promoting extremism and misinformation.
Latest in Disinformation
On Mar. 16, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released a declassified joint intelligence community assessment on foreign threats to the 2020 U.S. elections.
Why a Canadian Law Prohibiting False Statements in the Run-Up to an Election Was Found Unconstitutional
The legal challenge hinged on whether or not the dissemination of accidental and unknown falsehood was prohibited.
By design, defamation law makes intentional, malicious lying an expensive habit, but this works only if people are willing to bring civil cases against the peddlers of disinformation.
On Mar. 10, the FBI’s Cyber Division released a Private Industry Notification (PIN) warning that “Malicious actors almost certainly will leverage synthetic content for cyber and foreign influence operations in the next 12-18 months.”
Facebook’s policies on health misinformation stretch across blog posts, different sections within the Community Standards, and now in its Help Center. This must change.
To the extent that Iran targets U.S. audiences in sustained disinformation campaigns, it still typically aims to broadly promote Iranian interests rather than attempting to induce a specific result in American domestic affairs.
An online disinformation campaign targeting Libya was discovered in June 2020. This likely state-backed information operation shows how regional actors try to manipulate dynamic events in support of their interests.
Biden should look to the idea of a systemic duty of care, which says that the platforms are dependent on their users’ social connections and, thus, are obliged to reduce online harms to those users.
Canada does seem to be better off than the U.S. in shielding its electoral system from floods of disinformation. But whether that’s the result of Canada’s different free speech tradition, or, its lower-stakes political environment and more easygoing political culture, is not at all clear.