How do you fight a propaganda machine? Have volunteers crowdsource the facts and make it easy for the public to see what's really going on.
A small team of grassroots activists in Florida have created this system with existing apps that let citizens submit stories that they see on social media or on the web, and have them displayed on a realtime dashboard. This makes it easier for the public to get the facts and filter out state-sponsored propaganda. Stories can be submitted in seconds from a phone or laptop and include the date, time, location and a link to the original article.
News articles show how Ron DeSantis has created his own private police force, bullies children in public, attacks the LGBT community, denies women their rights and pushes racist voter suppression. One would almost think that Florida had become a private empire DeStanistan with a Supreme Leader, and not a democracy any more. But fighting a state sponsored propaganda machine is hard. How can voters find the facts?
Reports are shared on Facebook and Twitter, but are fleeting and often drowned out by bots. And it is hard to assemble tweets and posts into a bigger picture where trends are easier to spot.
Crowdsource to share the truth
Grassroots activists are using technology to fight back. Volunteers scan and enter stories that matter into a simple form along with the details, time, location and a link to the original article. These submissions are screened and then shown on a real time dashboard. Both the submission form and the dashboard are shared on social media as links and QR Codes. Volunteers can even submit their own stories along with the photo of an incident. The system uses esri technology which already has millions of users.
TakeAway: Fight disinformation by making it easy for volunteers to collect and share what's really going on.