“If Democrats fight right-wing ‘fake news’ fire with fire, we all lose”

I have written this piece for Salon. It begins:

Democrats are increasingly worried about losing the 2020 presidential election to Donald Trump. The party is in seeming disarray from the botched Iowa caucuses and the failure of an “electable” frontrunner to emerge early in the primary season. Trump’s fundraising and digital operations are humming, buoyed in part by his acquittal at the Senate trial which refused to remove him from office for soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 elections and obstructing the House’s investigation of it.  

As reported recently in The Atlantic by McKay Coppins, many Democrats believe Trump’s success stems in part from an extended campaign of disinformation across social media, aided by malign foreign actors, and that it is time to fight fire with fire. But these nascent Democratic efforts at media manipulation and misinformation will only make things worse and can undermine an intelligent democracy in the long run. They are also likely to be ineffective and even counter-productive. 

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