Tech and media companies need to take responsibility for the continued spread of the misinformation and disinformation that has left many Americans elements of what the truth actually is, a trio of experts said Thursday.
Speaking at the closing session of the RSA Conference in San Francisco, three co-chairs of the Aspen Institute’s Commission on Information Disorder said people are increasing turning to social media to get their news. While platforms like Twitter and Facebook are home to legitimate news sources, they’ve also allowed lies and conspiracy theories to spread unchecked and shape the opinions of those who are often unwittingly exposed to them.
The commission, which included more than a dozen experts from a variety of fields, issued a report in November that included a set of recommendations for addressing the crisis by doing things like holding companies accountable for spreading disinformation, investing in local media and giving consumers greater visibility into where their news is coming from.
Chris Krebs, former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said some of the recommendations have been adopted in the months since, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
“It’s a rocky road,” he told the crowd of thousands of cybersecurity professionals. “We’re not going to fix this problem tomorrow.”
Thursday’s panel discussion also included fellow commission co-chairs Rashad Robinson, president of the civil rights group Color of Changeand longtime Today show host Katie Couric.
Robinson said the spread of misinformation and disinformation is of particular