2020 was a year like no other, in many ways, but one critical one was in the sheer mass of misinformation and disinformation that not only was created, but shared. The threats posed by this harmful and deliberate content is increasing, and for governments around the world, the real-world harms are clear:
- The Capitol Hill riot on January 6th served as a powerful warning of the danger posed by widespread false narratives about the election result, and what happens when an erosion of public trust in democratic discourse and political communications collide.
- The undermining of important public safety messaging and the COVID vaccination program are also important and timely examples. Low uptake in groups targeted by misinformation about the vaccine threatens the successful rollout and the rebuilding of society post pandemic.
- The challenges posed to national security by both domestic and international actors seeking to sow mistrust and discord, and the signs of increasing radicalization and extremism shown by conspiracy theory followers.
While the problems posed by misinformation and disinformation are easily identified, government bodies have lacked sufficient tools and capabilities to address these problems in time and at scale.
Since we were founded in 2017, Logically’s mission has been to enhance civic discourse, protect democratic debate and process, and provide access to trustworthy information. We do this by combining advanced AI with one of the world’s largest, dedicated fact-checking teams to tackle mis- and disinformation at scale.
We have spent the last few years working with a number of government partners in the US and other democratic nations across the world to support them in both surfacing and disarming problematic content, including during the 2020 U.S. elections. We’ve seen the phenomenon of mis and disinformation take root, evolve and proliferate, and the strategies and networks of the proponents of the information crisis become more complex and dynamic.
The real-world harm posed by this content is increasing. The following graph shows the prevalence of high threat content in the US, with big spikes clear around the presidential election, inauguration and COVID vaccine rollout.
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