In October 2020 I took part in the Balsillie School of International Affairs ‘Global Insights’ symposium series, a session on ‘fake news’, elections and misinformation. The series is ongoing and all sessions — with some great speakers and covering a broad variety of IR-related topics — are available to view online.
“The democratic process depends fundamentally upon access to objective information, a fair and unbiased press and media, political candidates and leaders speaking truthfully, and social norms privileging evidence, expertise, and rational decision-making. However, recent major elections have been plagued by the presence of misinformation and accusations of election interference, perpetrated by domestic and foreign parties alike. As a result, the basic foundations of democracy have been shaken to their core as misinformation and fearmongering are used to manipulate electoral processes. This panel considers how we have arrived at this troubling point and how we might escape from it.”1