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Defending Democracies’ Information Infrastructure

What is driving some people to reject the legitimacy of fair elections, embrace conspiracy theories, and even resort to political violence? The answer may lie in a novel threat to democracies around the world: the deliberate, systematic distortion – enabled and heightened by digital capabilities – of an entire information ecosystem.

WASHINGTON, DC – After the United States’ recent midterm elections, Americans are breathing a sigh of relief that social-media fueled threats of violence against voters and election officials did not materialize. It is a disturbing sign of the times that a peaceful vote is a pleasant surprise.

What is driving some people to reject the legitimacy of fair elections, embrace conspiracy theories, and even resort to political violence? We believe the answer lies in a novel threat to democracies around the world: information insecurity.

Information insecurity is much more than vulnerability to propaganda. It is the deliberate and systematic distortion – enabled and heightened by digital capabilities – of an entire information ecosystem.

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