March 11, 2021

Three Lessons From the Past 365 Days of Online Misinformation

By Chris Estep and Megan Lamberth

March 11, 2021 marks the one-year anniversary of the “day everything changed” for many Americans, as fears about rising coronavirus cases prompted widespread disruption to everyday life. This same one-year period saw the rapid spread of online misinformation about everything from elections to infections, as the COVID-19 crisis transformed the digital landscape into a breeding ground of false speculation about masks, election results, vaccines, and more.

What can US policymakers and tech companies learn about the current realities and uncertain future of the online misinformation problem?

Today, the online misinformation crisis has never been more apparent. Over the past year, social media platforms have taken unprecedented action to label, slow, and stop the spread of false information. Despite these efforts, millions of Americans still hold false, and potentially dangerous, views about the efficacy of FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines and the results of the 2020 presidential election. The failed insurrection on Jan. 6 exemplified the real-world consequences of online misinformation converging with heightened polarization. After the digital disorder of this past year, what can US policymakers and tech companies learn about the current realities and uncertain future of the online misinformation problem?

Read the full article from Inkstick.

  • Commentary
    • June 2, 2021
    Sharper: Defense Tech

    The prevalence of artificial intelligence (AI) systems, the growing centrality of information warfare, and threats to traditional command and control are redefining combat in ...

    By Jennie Matuschak, Ainikki Riikonen & Anna Pederson

  • Video
    • May 13, 2021
    National Technology Strategy concept sparks bipartisan interest

    Government Matters spoke to Ainikki Riikonen about the need for a national technology strategy coordinate technology and innovation. Watch the full video from Government Matt...

    By Ainikki Riikonen

  • Commentary
    • May 7, 2021
    Democracy’s Digital Defenses

    In early 2021, the audio-only social media app Clubhouse allowed users in mainland China to enter chat rooms and talk freely to the world—including American journalists and pe...

    By Richard Fontaine & Kara Frederick

  • Video
    • May 6, 2021
    Why China’s eventual aims with Taiwan could have a major global financial and economic impact

    On CNBC’s Worldwide Exchange, Martijn Rasser discusses the rise in tensions between China and Taiwan, potential responses by the U.S. and G-7 countries, and whether Beijing co...

    By Martijn Rasser

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia