Social media disinformation and the security threat to democratic legitimacy

NATO Association of Canada: Disinformation and Digital Democracies in the 21st Century:10-14 (2019)
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Abstract

This short piece draws on political philosophy to show how social media interference operations can be used by hostile states to weaken the apparent legitimacy of democratic governments. Democratic societies are particularly vulnerable to this form of attack because democratic governments depend for their legitimacy on citizens' trust in one another. But when citizen see one another as complicit in the distribution of deceptive content, they lose confidence in the epistemic preconditions for democracy. The piece concludes with policy recommendations for how democratic governments should protect themselves.

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Regina Rini
York University

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