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Digital Disinformation and the Threat to Democracy: Information Integrity in the 2020 Elections


The symposium discussed policy approaches and tools for addressing disinformation and minimizing disruptions by foreign influence operations in the 2020 campaign. Foreign adversaries spent millions during the 2016 campaign to spread disinformation to American voters. According to warnings from the Intelligence Community, the Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Justice, familiar and new methods of spreading disinformation will likely be deployed against the United States in future election cycles. This threat implicates the Federal Election Campaign Act’s foreign-national political-spending ban and the Federal Election Commission's important disclosure mission, and affects the health of American democracy.


  • 0:05: Introduction: Framing the Challenge
  • 7:30: Opening Keynote and Q&A
  • 45:33: Session 1: Understanding the Global Challenge: How Disinformation & New Technologies Affect the Ways People Think, and What We Are Learning from the Global Experience
    • Panel:
      • Michael Chertoff, Fmr. Secretary of Homeland Security
      • Lisa Fazio, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Human Development, Vanderbilt University
      • Camille Francois, Chief Innovation Officer, Graphika
      • Clement Wolf, Global Public Policy Lead for Information Integrity, Google
      • Susan Ness, Distinguished Fellow, Annenberg Public Policy Center
      • Nathan Miller, Legal Director, Avaaz
    • Moderator:
      • Eileen Donahoe, Executive Director, Stanford Global Digital Policy Incubator
  • 2:03:20: Session 2: Facing the Challenge in the U.S.: Solutions in the Fight to Save the 2020 Elections
  • 3:46:17: Closing Remarks and Next Steps
    • Chair Ellen L. Weintraub, Federal Election Commission