The Coming Wave of Disinformation

Voting in the 2020 U.S. elections will come to a close in 70 days, and disinformation experts are working around the clock to safeguard the democratic process. “One of the things you can be pretty confident of,” said Ben Nimmo, the director of investigations at Graphika, a network analysis firm, “is that somebody is going to start posting a video which allegedly shows ballot box stuffing, or it shows people carousel voting or it shows … some kind of electoral irregularity.” 

“An awful lot of the time, if you reverse search the video or the photo, you find out it happened five years ago in a different country.”

But what if such a video gets picked up by an irresponsible media outlet—or worse, the president—before Facebook’s much-improved security teams can determine its origin and stop its dissemination? What if Joe Biden’s anticipated vote-by-mail advantage never materializes, and someone claiming to be a Philadelphia postal worker tweets that she saw her co-worker throw away a bin full of ballots? 

Welcome to democracy in 2020.

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