Civic Information Handbook

From Karen Kornbluh and Adrienne Goldstein, in collaboration with UNC Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life, comes this valuable resource. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction:

Social media platform tools are better suited for campaigns seeking to manipulate and agitate users than to empower and inform. Platforms and regulators must get involved to fix the design flaws that allow false and misleading information to flourish in the first place. Policymakers should update and enforce civil and human rights laws for the online environment, compel radical transparency, update consumer protection rules, insist that industry make a high-level commitment to democratic design, and create civic information infrastructure through a new PBS of the Internet. In the absence of such policy reform, amplifiers of civic information may never be able to beat out the well-resourced, well-networked groups that intentionally spread falsehoods. Nonetheless, there are strategies for helping civic information compete.

This handbook aims to:

  1. Educate civic information providers about coordinated deceptive campaigns

…including how they build their audiences, seed compelling narratives, amplify their messages, and activate their followers, as well as why false narratives take hold, and who the primary actors and targeted audiences are.

  1. Serve as a resource on how to flood the zone with trustworthy civic information

…namely, how civic information providers can repurpose the tactics used by coordinated deceptive campaigns in transparent, empowering ways and protect themselves and their message online.

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