Online disinformation has drastically evolved since the days when politicians’ biggest concerns on social media were Russian troll farms.
Now the Democratic National Committee is overhauling its counter disinformation unit to better respond to what it views as the more pressing digital threat: Republican politicians and right-leaning publications with large followings. This team will now be housed within the committee’s communications department to rapidly track and respond to purported falsehoods spreading online.
The changes come as Republican lawmakers and organizers’ continued embrace of baseless claims of widespread election fraud threaten to influence the midterms and the 2024 election. The committee’s restructuring formalizes a shift that has been underway for months, as the team started positioning itself to respond to “elite” and “authentic” voices, such as former president Trump, who were playing a key role in amplifying falsehoods and conspiracy theories online, said Timothy Durigan, the DNC’s lead analyst for the counter disinformation program.