March 25, 2020

As the coronavirus spreads, Americans have to flatten the misinformation curve too

By Megan Lamberth and Chris Estep

Overnight, Americans have become all too familiar with the call to "flatten the curve" by taking precautionary measures to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19). Fulfilling individual responsibilities in this unprecedented crisis, however, requires more than social distancing and physical isolation.

Digital interactions on social media platforms are increasing, as people's physical interactions are primarily restricted. With so many users seeking and sharing information online, the spread of misinformation about the pandemic can overwhelm social platforms, impede the government's response, and enable bad actors online. Every American must therefore do their part to flatten the misinformation curve.

Anyone can be a carrier of harmful misinformation. Because of this risk, members of the public must devote increased diligence to ensure that the information they share on social media and elsewhere is authentic and contextualized. This responsibility goes beyond merely improved "digital literacy." All Americans must embrace an attitude of "digital citizenship," treating online communications with the same level of scrutiny as in-person interactions.

Read the full article in Business Insider.

  • Video
    • November 18, 2020
    Senators grill social media giants over election handling

    Kara Frederick, fellow at the Center for a New American Security, provides key takeaways from Facebook, Twitter CEO testimony. Watch the full interview on Fox and Friends Fir...

    By Kara Frederick

  • Reports
    • November 17, 2020
    Defense Technology Strategy

    The DoD needs a systematic approach—a technology strategy—for how to prioritize technology investments....

    By Paul Scharre & Ainikki Riikonen

  • Video
    • November 15, 2020
    Is TikTok a Harmless App or a Threat To U.S. Security?

    The popular social media platform TikTok has so far avoided being banned by the Trump administration. But until it addresses concerns over its national security risks, its fut...

    By Kara Frederick

  • Commentary
    • November 5, 2020
    Sharper: The Next Four Years

    America will face a range of national security challenges over the next four years. From sustaining military deterrence to bolstering the nation's economic leadership and more...

    By Chris Estep & Cole Stevens

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia