Election Disinformation in 2022 and What We Learned for 2024
5 Key Takeaways
Election disinformation continues to pose a major threat to our democracy. We’ve taken a look back at election disinformation in 2022 and what we’ve learned for moving forward into the 2024 elections. Here’s what you need to know.
1. 2022 was a more challenging environment for voters than 2020
This is due to:
- A new industry of election-denying influencers, activists, and fake analysts
- The potential for profit and audience-building for election deniers
- Profit incentives for the tech industry to relax already-inadequate standards for content moderation
- Increased vulnerability of communities within information deserts
2. The Election Protection Program was successful in protecting voters from voter suppression
Some key successes include:
- Common Cause recruited and trained 2,202 social media monitors who in total submitted 3,825 items of potential social media disinformation for review to our team.
- 156 Common Cause volunteers and 44 youth volunteers gathered over 750 items of potential social media disinformation on election day,
- We inoculated our audience with pro-voter information vital to getting out the vote.
3. 2024 will present new challenges to voters
- Republican candidates will continue to promote election disinformation and conspiracy theories.
- It will be more difficult to rely on tech platforms to enforce their policies and protect our democracy.
- Political violence may flare up in the wake of Donald Trump’s indictments and a primary focused on rehashing lies about 2020.
- Election deniers and disinformers are becoming more creative with their lies and manipulation.
4. Social media platforms must be held accountable.
We know what platforms need to do to reduce the spread of disinformation—they just refused, and continue to refuse, to make better choices for user safety. We must hold them accountable.
5. New legislation can help!
- Senator Amy Klobuchar’s and Representative Yvette Clarke’s REAL Political Advertisements Act would regulate AI-generated content in political advertising
- The Freedom to Vote Act, which was recently re-introduced, would
- Increase access to the vote
- Promote online registration
- Allow for same-day registration
- Implement protections for disabled voters and election workers
- Prohibit false statements about federal elections 60 days before an election that would prevent someone from exercising their right to vote.
Read our full report here.