Wisconsin organization aims to empower voters against disinformation

NOW: Wisconsin organization aims to empower voters against disinformation

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) – A Wisconsin organization is working to teach voters how to identify and fight disinformation efforts on social media ahead of the 2020 elections.

Leader Ethics-Wisconsin is a nonpartisan, La Crosse-based organization that focuses on ethics in political office. But after foreign interference in 2016 plagued social media, the group’s leader wanted voters to be better informed when those efforts happen again this year.

“Unless we gather a better understanding of how we can be drawn into this, it can have a devastating impact on the integrity of the American democracy,” said Lee Rasch, the Executive Director of Leader Ethics-Wisconsin.

Rasch’s organization released a citizen’s guide with tips like not liking or sharing potential disinformation and flagging it as potentially malicious.

“We can give our citizens some thoughts on how they can become more knowledgeable to better understand what a phony story looks like,” Rasch told CBS 58.

The group also informs elected officials and those running for office how to handle disinformation online that may affect their own races.

Rasch hopes being prepared and informed now can help elections this year and in the future.

“We do believe that the change process can begin in 2020 even though this is going to be a very difficult year.”

The citizen’s guide and more information about Leader Ethics-Wisconsin can be found here.

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