Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has a plan to fight digital disinformation. Sort of.
As part of a broader pledge to fight disinformation online and “on the campaign trail,” the senator from Massachusetts said that as president she would “push for new laws that impose tough civil and criminal penalties” for those who knowingly spread “false information about when and how to vote in U.S. elections.”
Of the leading 2020 candidates, Warren appears to be the first to make such a promise, but so far much of what the campaign has shared today on disinformation boils down to the standards Warren is setting for her campaign as well as a wish list for changes Warren believes social media CEOs—including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki—should make to address the spread of disinformation online.
That wish list stops short of seriously exploring what penalties those CEOs should face should they fail to do more to combat disinformation, such as posts that claim U.S. citizens can now vote by sending a text message.
Warren’s proposal is vague for now, and so it’s not clear what sort of voting disinformation efforts might warrant what penalties. Fast Company has reached out to the Warren campaign for more information.
In the meantime, you can read the full pledge here.