Disinformation Isn’t Just a Tech Problem. It’s a Social One, Too.

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Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.Mis- and disinformation are often viewed as a cause of society’s ills. But a new report from the Aspen Institute’s Commission on Information Disorder, which studied the global “crisis of trust and truth,” offers a different perspective on how to think about the proliferation of conspiracy theories and bogus info: The rise of disinformation is the product of longstanding social problems, including income inequality, racism, and corruption, which can be easily exploited to spread false information online.
“Saying that the disinformation is the problem—rather than a way in which the underlying problem shows itself—misses the point entirely,” the report quotes Mike Masnick, founder of Techdirt, as saying.