2018 saw political tides turn in three of Latin America’s largest democracies. These elections also saw deep polarization and distrust in institutions among Brazilians, Mexicans, and Colombians in an information environment ripe with disinformation. And while disinformation and misinformation are nothing new, the spread of false information at alarming rates – facilitated by politicians, non-state actors, or even our own families and friends – are more effective and worrisome than ever. With this trend unlikely to change, how can we detect and combat this borderless phenomenon? What’s next in the fight against disinformation?
Disinformation in Democracies: Strengthening Digital Resilience in Latin America, authored by Roberta Braga, Luiza Bandeira, Donara Barojan, Maria Fernanda Pérez Argüello, and Jose Luis Peñarredonda, provides an overview of polarization, automation and disinformation in Latin America, and outlines lessons learned from the region’s 2018 elections. Following a year-long effort in which the Digital Forensic Research Lab and the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center exposed and explained disinformation around elections in Latin America, the report also lays out multi-stakeholder vision for fostering digital resilience as the world prepares for major elections in 2019 and 2020 in Argentina, the European Union, India, Indonesia the United States and beyond.