A first look back – Campaigning and disinformation in the 2020 US elections
In the course of the US presidential election, election-related disinformation and discrimination online were receiving a lot of attention. On numerous occasions, deceptive campaign messaging, disinformation about mail-in voting and content aimed at suppressing voter turnout among minorities were widely shared. Policymakers and especially tech platforms have been facing intense pressure to address these issues in order to protect the integrity of the electoral process.
The week after election day, Geysha González and Julian Jaursch met virtually to discuss the 2020 campaign and the role of election-related disinformation. Geysha González co-founded the transatlantic counter-disinformation research network DisinfoPortal.org and is currently senior director at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), a Washington, DC-based think tank. Geysha discussed specific examples of disinformation during the 2020 election, such as Spanish-language campaigns trying to undermine the traditionally high loyalty by the Latinx community to the Democrats. She also analyzed countermeasures from tech platforms, which she deemed an improvement over 2016. Yet, because of continued shortcomings, Geysha still advocated for legislative measures to increase transparency and accountability.