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A security guard stands outside a voting center in San Francisco A security guard stands outside a voting center in San Francisco, Oct. 20, 2020 (AP photo by Jeff Chiu).

Ahead of the U.S. Election, Online Misinformation Is Becoming Harder to Detect

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020

This year’s election season in the U.S. has been unusual in many ways, unfolding against the backdrop of a raging global pandemic, a historic economic recession and an incumbent president who is willing to discard America’s democratic norms. But there is one thing that has become predictable about recent U.S. elections, and sadly, other polls around the world: the torrent of misinformation that inevitably seems to accompany them.

At the same time, the modalities of how misinformation spreads aren’t necessarily consistent across elections. According to Shelby Grossman, a political scientist and research scholar at the Stanford Internet Observatory, foreign influence operations are becoming more sophisticated, and the unintentional spread of misinformation can be just as pernicious. She joins WPR’s Elliot Waldman on the Trend Lines podcast this week to break down the latest trends in online misinformation and some of the things voters should watch out for on Election Day and thereafter. Click here to read a transcript of an excerpt from the interview.

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Relevant Articles on WPR:
There’s No Denying Russia’s Election Interference, Unless You’re Trump
Tech Giants Aren’t Doing Enough to Combat Misinformation About COVID-19
The Sorry State of U.S. Election Security Makes Foreign Interference Inevitable

Trend Lines is edited by Peter Dörrie, a freelance journalist and analyst focusing on security and resource politics in Africa. You can follow him on Twitter at @peterdoerrie.

To send feedback or questions, email us at podcast@worldpoliticsreview.com.