Impact of Misinformation on the Democratic Process - Introduction

There are three reasons why it’s especially important to engage critically with election news – and political news in general.

First, the stakes: How you vote – and whether you vote – are among the most important decisions you make.

Second, because we often have strong feelings about political issues, we’re more vulnerable both to our own biases and to being manipulated by others.

Finally, politics is an area where scammers, hoaxers and manipulators are most active. They know that we are more likely to listen to and more inclined to seek out information that supports what we already believe, and that even outlandish claims can start to seem believable if they're repeated often enough.[1]

This section will explore how to read election and political news critically, how to recognize misinformation (information that is incorrect) and disinformation (the deliberate spreading of false or misleading information), and how to be a more active and engaged consumer of political news.


[1] Nyhan, Brendan and Jason Reifler. Misinformation and Fact-Checking: Research Findings from Social Science. New America Foundation, 2012.