Protecting Voters from Election Disinformation

A new report explains the evolving threat of election disinformation

Bad actors are spreading disinformation that’s designed to discourage people from voting and undermine public trust in our elections. The rise of social media has supercharged the spread of disinformation, making the propaganda even more prevalent and effective.

Common Cause’s new Storm Watch Report explains what disinformation we can expect in 2024 and how we can protect voters from the growing threat of disinformation. 

What is Disinformation?

Disinformation is false rhetoric used to mislead. In elections, disinfo is used to dampen turnout among some voters, mobilize others based on lies, or call election results into question.

Bad actors target people without the resources to find accurate information. Non-English-speaking audiences are particularly vulnerable since social media platforms invest fewer resources into providing fact checks for non-English languages. We often see English-language narratives translated for new audiences with the same viral result but no fact-checking or moderation at all. 

What Can We Expect for the 2024 Election?

Election deniers are turning to the same narratives that have gone viral in the past, like discouraging people from voting before Election Day. In addition to this recirculated propaganda, improvements to generative AI technology make the threat of deepfakes even more serious. Social media platforms have allowed disinformers to thrive as the tech giants have scaled back their content standards and disinvested in monitoring and enforcement.

What Can We Do?

Start by reading our Storm Watch report on how to protect voters from disinformation in 2024:

The election protection community has worked extensively since 2020 to provide pro-voting inoculation content. We know our messaging interventions work, but we need more funding and resources to compete with disinformation’s growing reach. 

Disinformation will remain an issue as long as the strategic gains of engaging in it, promoting it, and profiting from it outweigh the consequences of spreading it. But by working together, we can spread pro-voter messages and provide voters with accurate information to ensure they have an equal say in our democracy.

Common Cause is working to build the resiliency of our democracy by addressing threats like disinformation.

For updates, follow us on X [Twitter], Instagram, Threads, Facebook, and TikTok.