Bipartisan commission urges US to take immediate action to tackle online misinformation

A report by a bipartisan commission released on Monday recommends that the US government and leaders of social media platforms take a series of immediate steps to stem the “crisis of trust and truth” resulting from online disinformation and misinformation.

the reportpublished by the Aspen Institute’s Commission on Information Disorders, offers recommendations that can be taken to address issues such as election security and COVID-19 misinformation and misinformation online, painting a picture of an urgent moment to act.

“This crisis demands urgent attention and a dedicated response from all parts of society,” the commissioners wrote in the report. “Every type and level of leader needs to seriously think about this crisis and their role in it. Everyone can and should participate in this conversation, genuinely listening to the problems and taking real ownership of the solutions.

The report lays out dozens of recommendations to address the crisis, including creating a “national response strategy” to establish roles and responsibilities in countering disinformation across the executive branch, investing in the local journalism, diversify social media platform memberships and invest in civic education.

“As of this writing, the federal government lacks clear leadership and strategy on the problem of misinformation, despite its own acknowledgment of the impact on public health, elections, businesses, technology and campaigns. on communities of color, including immigrants and refugees,” the report read. “This lack of leadership, ownership, or strategy hampers efforts, slows response times, and duplicates efforts.”

The report also recommends that changes be made to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which grants legal immunity to social media platforms for what is posted on their sites, to remove that immunity for misleading content promoted. through paid advertisements and product features.

Commissioners used the report to focus on election security issues. They recommended investing in post-election audits and “large-scale education and awareness campaigns” to help voters understand how elections work. They also advise that Congress could fund these efforts through the supply cycle or an election-focused bill.

“The 2020 presidential election has demonstrated that the process by which elections are administered is not widely and clearly understood, providing fertile ground for those who wish to undermine trust or sow confusion during or after an election,” says The report.

The commissioners include former Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) director Christopher Krebs, the former representative. HurdWilliam Ballard HurdHillicon Valley – YouTube Takes Some Heat Former GOP Rep: Social Media Companies Should Be Able to Suspend Trump, Others for ‘Bold Lies’ Hillicon Valley – Featured by Ericsson – Fighting the ‘Crisis’ of disinformation MORE (R-Texas), journalist Katie Couric, Prince HarryPrince HarryThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Western leaders band together as Ukraine invasion grows likely Prince Harry’s lawyers say he doesn’t feel safe bringing children to UK Can United Joe Rogan save free speech? CONTINUEDColor of Change President Rashad Robinson and former Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos.

Krebs, who was fired by President TrumpDonald Trump Quincy Institute leader: Negotiators ‘very close’ to deal on new Iran nuclear deal Cheney: Trump’s ‘adulation’ of Putin ‘helps our enemies’ Five takeaways as crisis ukrainian escalates MORE following last year’s presidential election after CISA took steps to push back against election disinformation and misinformation, voiced support for the report on Monday.

“The first phase of a journey that began 10 months ago comes to an end today with the release of the #AspenInfoCommission report,” Krebs tweeted. “An honor to work with @rashadrobinson & @katiecouric. Thanks to the @AspenDigital team for making this possible, and the other commissioners for their contributions. »

To help implement the report, the Aspen Institute’s Tech Policy Hub announced a competition on Monday that will award five semi-finalist teams $5,000 and the winner $75,000, for execution plans of report recommendations.

“Misinformation is a real problem in our society that the private sector, government and technologists will need to work together to combat,” said Betsy Cooper, founding director of the Aspen Tech Policy Hub, on Monday. “We want to build on the excellent work of the Aspen Institute Information Disorders Commission by supporting projects that implement the Commission’s recommendations.”

Aurora J. William