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How Not to Cover Voter Fraud Disinformation

Journalists should treat systematic disinformation campaigns from President Trump and his party no differently than those from Russian propagandists and Facebook clickbait artists, argues Yochai Benkler in an op-ed for NiemanReports. Benkler discusses his latest report, how media propagated disinformation about mail-in voter fraud, and how journalists can do better.

“If editors and journalists are going to do their jobs as the fourth estate and hold power to account, they have to do the fact checking before the reporting, and if the president and his party are engaged in a systematic disinformation campaign, then being the fourth estate means overcoming deeply entrenched professional habits, calling the campaign what it is, and treating the falsehoods no differently than they would if their source were Russian propagandists or Facebook clickbait artists,” he writes.

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Mail-In Voter Fraud: Anatomy of a Disinformation Campaign

Working paper shows Disinformation Campaign Surrounding the Risk of Voter Fraud Associated with Mail-in Ballots Follows an Elite-Driven, Mass Media Model; Social Media Plays a Secondary Role in 2020

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