Warren releases plan to fight election disinformation

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) on Wednesday released a plan to fight online disinformation ahead of the 2020 election, warning that the country is ill-prepared to combat the scourge of false information and “fake news” certain to spread across Facebook, Google, Twitter and other platforms.

The Democratic White House hopeful is calling on the tech industry, U.S. government and individual political campaigns to actively combat online efforts to spread lies and falsehoods, warning the country could face a repeat of 2016, when Russian trolls sought to sow discord with divisive social media posts aimed at ginning up support for President Trump.

“The stakes of this election are too high — we need to fight the spread of false information that disempowers voters and undermines democracy,” Warren wrote in the lengthy plan released on her campaign website. “I’ll do my part — and I’m calling on my fellow candidates and big tech companies to do their part too.”

The Massachusetts senator pledged that her campaign will not “knowingly” spread any disinformation — including misleadingly edited videos or manipulated news reports — about herself or any of her opponents.

Nearly all of the top Democratic candidates this election season, including Warren, have been the target of viral misinformation efforts that spread lies or misleading footage across an increasingly polarized online ecosystem.