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Democracy vs. Disinformation

Efforts to combat disinformation in the West have so far focused on tactical approaches that target the "supply side" of the problem. To succeed, they must be accompanied by efforts that tackle the demand side of the problem: the factors that make liberal democratic societies today so susceptible to manipulation.

MADRID – These are difficult days for liberal democracy. But of all the threats that have arisen in recent years – populism, nationalism, illiberalism – one stands out as a key enabler of the rest: the proliferation and weaponization of disinformation.

The threat is not a new one. Governments, lobby groups, and other interests have long relied on disinformation as a tool of manipulation and control.

What is new is the ease with which disinformation can be produced and disseminated. Advances in technology allow for the increasingly seamless manipulation or fabrication of video and audio, while the pervasiveness of social media enables false information to be rapidly amplified among receptive audiences.

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