Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Political Disinformation on Trial

Finally, there's going to be an accounting for spreading lies and conspiracy theories in politics.

Pushed too far, the voting technology companies Dominion and Smartmatic have both brought libel actions against former president Trump's allies and attorneys, along with Fox News for spreading harmful untruths and conspiracy theories about the companies' roll in the 2020 election.

Yesterday Dominion announced it's suing Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow, for 1.3 billion over his baseless accusations of election fraud.

Disinformation is on trial

In recent years, libel law has been weaponized to generate publicity, to score political points and to extract revenge on critics.

These actions either have been dismissed or are highly unlikely to succeed on the merits as they go forward.

Smartmatic is suing a number of parties - Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, as well as Fox News and hosts Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs, and Jeanine Pirro.

It's important to note that these cases come at a time of growing concern about the roll of disinformation in American politics.

They could be consequential. If successful, the cases will set a new standard for truth telling. Something this country desperately needs.

Facts are facts. Fiction is fiction. The two don't co-mingle.

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