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Combatting Digital Disinformation During a Global Pandemic

Organizer: R Street Institute

This event will highlight the dangers of digital disinformation for the public and for policymakers during health crises. A diverse panel of experts will explore the nature and extent of disinformation online, the challenges of communicating expertise in a politically polarized digital media environment and long-term strategies to ensure that reliable expertise is accessible to all.

Location: Webinar

Balance of Power
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Here's why the Census Bureau has a 'Trust and Safety Team'

Rumors spread last fall about Census impersonators carrying fraudulent IDs who were knocking on doors and robbing people in their homes.

Fear circulated on Twitter. Neighborhood watch groups posted warnings on Facebook. Local TV stations aired stories on how to protect yourself when a stranger shows up to your house.

The only problem? It was baloney. But the government is combating such scams with an aggressiveness underscoring how seriously it takes the nation's only moment of mandatory civic responsibility.

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Voters in Los Angeles County waited in line up to three hours to cast their ballots on Super Tuesday.

Long lines, language barriers & misleading info: A Super Tuesday sampler

High voter turnout was both a blessing and a curse on Super Tuesday. While more participation in elections gave civic advocates something to cheer about, long lines in two of the biggest states plus a wave of online disinformation left voting rights groups with a to-do list before the next primaries.

During the biggest day of voting in the Democratic presidential contest, hotlines operated in 11 languages by a coalition of progressive groups fielded more than 2,000 calls from voters expressing concern and confusion.

But as the polls started to close Tuesday evening, representatives of the so-called Election Protection coalition, led by the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, told reporters they believe the primaries in all 14 states generally went off with few if any hitches.

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What You Should Know About 2020 Disinformation and The Election

Organizer: R Street Institute

Disinformation campaigns and election manipulation were prominent in the 2016 election and are expected only to increase in the run-up to 2020. Understanding how these campaigns work and how foreign agents can take advantage of media and technological platforms will be crucial to protecting American electoral processes. This panel will present perspectives from researchers across a variety of disciplines who study how disinformation works, and whose research is a crucial first step to understanding how Congress can address this critical problem.

Location: Dirksen Senate Office Building SD-106, Washington, DC

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