DNC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR COMBATING ONLINE DISINFORMATION
For Campaigns & State Parties
Campaigns and state parties are focused on winning elections and have limited resources and options for confronting online disinformation. However, campaigns and state parties are not powerless in the fight against online disinformation. In addition to the ongoing work the DNC does to assist campaigns and state parties, there are a number of concrete steps they can take to prepare for disinformation attacks.
1. Establish a counter-disinformation lead within your organization — ideally a press or digital staffer, responsible for monitoring candidate social media traffic. The DNC will provide guidance on how to effectively counter disinformation, but campaigns need to be aware of what’s being said about their candidate online and take appropriate action.
2. Educate yourself. Review the DNC Recommendations for Combating Disinformation – for General Public document and the DNC’s disinformation overview deck.
3. Correct the record. Make sure your campaign is using the power of social media to its fullest to correct disinformation. While it is critical that we call on various platforms to take down false or fake information, the ecosystem cannot always rely on them, and campaigns should continue to work with the DNC to use their platforms to correct disinformation.
4. Major political and breaking news events often leave an information vacuum that malicious actors seek to exploit. Campaigns should have an incident response plan in place to combat viral misinformation. The best time to plan for information attacks is before one happens!
When contemplating a response to disinformation narratives, campaigns and state parties should consider whether misinformation has reached a tipping point where the costs of ignoring the issue are higher than the costs of the amplification that a response might generate. When misinformation has reached a tipping point, aggressive responses to misinformation that seek to reframe the debate tend to be most effective.
5. If you see something, say something. Set up an internal escalation path for reporting suspicious online activity, and make that part of your incident response plan. Report malicious activity or suspected malicious social media activity in-platform and to platforms via approved escalation paths.