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The Anatomy Of An Election Disinformation Campaign

Some of the Facebook and Instagram ads linked to a Russian effort to disrupt the American political process during the 2016 election and stir up tensions around divisive social issues, released by members of the U.S. House Intelligence committee, are photographed in Washington. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)
Some of the Facebook and Instagram ads linked to a Russian effort to disrupt the American political process during the 2016 election and stir up tensions around divisive social issues, released by members of the U.S. House Intelligence committee, are photographed in Washington. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)

The anatomy of a disinformation campaign. How does a bad faith post get mistaken for the truth? We talk about how the tentacles of disinformation reach into millions of homes.

Guests

Nina Jankowicz, disinformation fellow at the Wilson Center, a nonpartisan think tank. Author of “ How To Lose the Information War.” ( @wiczipedia)

Secretary Frank LaRose, Ohio Secretary of State. Republican. ( @FrankLaRose)

From The Reading List

New York Times: “ Facing a Deluge of Misinformation, Colorado Takes the Offensive Against It” — “Like so many modern election sagas, it started with a tweet. In 2019, Jena Griswold, the newly installed secretary of state in Colorado, saw a tweet falsely claiming that her state’s election system had been hacked, using a picture of voting equipment as evidence.”

NPR: “ Robocalls, Rumors And Emails: Last-Minute Election Disinformation Floods Voters” — “Dirty tricks and disinformation have been used to intimidate and mislead voters for as long as there have been elections. But they have been especially pervasive this year as millions of Americans cast ballots in a chaotic and contentious election.”

The Columbus Dispatch: “ Secretary of state: Hacking, voter intimidation by Russia and Iran haven’t affected Ohio” — “Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said the best way voters can respond to Iran and Russia meddling in U.S. elections is to cast a ballot.”

New York Times: “ Russia Poses Greater Election Threat Than Iran, Many U.S. Officials Say” — “While senior Trump administration officials said this week that Iran has been actively interfering in the presidential election, many intelligence officials said they remained far more concerned about Russia, which in recent days has hacked into state and local computer networks in breaches that could allow Moscow broader access to American voting infrastructure.”

ABC News: “ Russia, Iran have obtained voter data in election interference campaign: DNI” — “Senior national security officials alerted the American public Wednesday that Iran and Russia have both obtained voter data in their efforts to interfere in the 2020 U.S. election.”

New York Times: “ Twitter Will Turn Off Some Features to Fight Election Misinformation” — “Twitter took steps on Friday to slow the way information flows on its network, even changing some of its most basic features, as alarm grows that lies and calls for violence will sweep through social media in the weeks surrounding the presidential election.”

Washington Post: “ FBI says it has ‘nothing to add’ to Ratcliffe’s remarks about Hunter Biden, Russian disinformation” — “The FBI notified Congress late Tuesday that it has “nothing to add at this time” to a statement made by President Trump’s director of national intelligence disputing the idea that Russia orchestrated the discovery of a computer that may have belonged to Joe Biden’s son.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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