On November 8th, voters all over the US are casting ballots in the midterm elections that will determine control of the House and Senate. These elections will fundamentally decide over the future of liberal democracy, as they foreshadow what is to be expected in two years. Disinformation has become a major threat for free elections worldwide.

In this light, we spoke with Jiore Craig, Head of Digital Integrity at the Institute for Strategic Diaglogue on the role that disinformation played in the months leading to the midterm elections.

AL: What topics have driven this year’s midterm elections?
What trends and narratives have you observed ahead of the midterms?

  • Targeting identity (gender, sexual, race) and so-called family values
  • Crime rates, inflation, the economy
  • Reproductive rights and abortion
  • Election denying candidates and conspiracies rooted in 2020 results

What role do disinformation campaigns play in these elections? Is meddling or foreign influence from other political actors - be it China or Russia - to be expected & to what extent?

It’s not expected, it’s confirmed. Election disinformation is flooding American newsfeeds constantly and has been for months and years. Candidates are basing their campaigns on denying 2020 election results and it is unclear whether several candidates will accept the results of elections if they do not win.

Disinformation is salient on radio, TV, and social media. Americans get their information from such different sources that it is not just one vector of disinformation driving the problem.

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