Reinforcing democracy: Preventing and combating misinformation and disinformation
How we are tackling one of the biggest threats to democracy
Misinformation: false or inaccurate information not disseminated with the intention of deceiving the public
Disinformation: false, inaccurate, or misleading information deliberately created, presented and disseminated to deceive the public
The real dangers of mis- and disinformation
It can fuel declining public trust in institutions and disenchantment with democratic processes
It can distort a country's domestic policies and election systems
It can undermine efforts to protect public health, national interests and national security
It can undermine government's ability to implement policies
The problem is global:
All countries are vulnerable to sophisticated and dangerous disinformation
"Industrialised disinformation" involving a multitude of actors – domestic, international, state, non-state, private firms, and digital intermediaries - is growing rapidly
How is OECD responding to help governments?
The threats posed calls for both preventive and reactive strategies while protecting freedom of expression and enhancing the crucial roles of media/civil society in the fight against mis- and disinformation.
Through our initiative on "Reinforcing Democracy", the OECD is actively engaged in exploring key trends and supporting members in developing potential responses, including the following key areas:
Understanding disinformation campaigns;
Designing regulatory and non-regulatory measures;
Fostering integrity and transparency in lobbying;
Enhancing the ability of the public communication function to identify, prevent and respond to harmful content;
Protecting independent media and civic space;
Promoting civic and media responses, such as media literacy, that build a more resilient information ecosystem.
Only a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder and whole of government approach will help curb the threats posed by mis- and disinformation, and help build resilience and protect media and information ecosystems.
Mathias Cormann, Secretary-General, OECD, speaking at UNGA “Summit for Information and Democracy” session "Misinformation and freedom of information on social media – How can democracies respond to infodemics?" 24 September 2021
Reports and events
Reports and documents:
International Report on Public Communication: The Global Context and the Way Forward (Forthcoming 2021)