The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) recently released this report (“Seismic Shifts“, PDF) about the state of counter election disinformation initiatives in the US, and the trust & safety space. It’s a sobering read. It’s also very, very good and I highly recommend it.
The upcoming year is a massive election year, including but not limited to the US and Europe, and it looks like we’re headed into a perfect storm: Adversary players have ramped up their efforts and capacities. Trust & Safety teams as well as election integrity teams at the big platforms have been slashed significantly. Platforms have also changed their policies, often for the worse. And what’s maybe the most problematic on top of these already massive problems is that a solid chunk of law makers are not part of the solution but a key part of the problem, with the far right wing of the GOP leaning heavily on disinformation, and Elon Musk welcoming the far right and their activities onto Twitter / X. Democracy is under attack from without and from within.
It looked like we’d learned quite a bit from the 2016 US elections and had a bit of a better handle in 2020. Now with all these changed parameters, it looks bleak for 2024.
Let’s try to go through this valley of tears and come out better on the other side, shall we?