Experts have recommended that President Joe Biden appoint a “reality czar” to “tackle disinformation,” the New York Times reported Tuesday.
Technology columnist Kevin Roose’s piece examines how to combat disinformation in media, citing QAnon group chats, OAN reporting, and “YouTube videos alleging that the inauguration was a prerecorded hoax that had been filmed on a Hollywood soundstage.”
“Several experts I spoke with recommended that the Biden administration put together a cross-agency task force to tackle disinformation and domestic extremism, which would be led by something like a ‘reality czar,’” Roose wrote. “It sounds a little dystopian, I’ll grant. But let’s hear them out.”
Government responses to domestic extremism and disinformation are spread across numerous agencies and create a lot of unnecessary overlap, experts reportedly told the Times. This overlap results in misinformation about prominent issues such as COVID-19 and election fraud, Stanford disinformation researcher Renée DiResta said.
Diresta suggested that a “centralized task force could coordinate a single, strategic response,” Roose reported.
“If each of them are doing it distinctly and independently, you run the risk of missing connections, both in terms of the content and in terms of the tactics that are used to execute on the campaigns,” DiResta told the Times.
DiResta suggested that such a task force could meet with tech platforms and help these platforms tackle issues with extremism and misinformation.
“For example, it could formulate ‘safe harbor’ exemptions that would allow platforms to share data about QAnon and other conspiracy theory communities with researchers and government agencies without running afoul of privacy laws,” Roose wrote. “And it could become the tip of the spear for the federal government’s response to the reality crisis.” Read Full Article >