Dallas Morning News: Rebuilding trust can slow the spread of disinformation

Learn more about William McKenzie.
William McKenzie
Senior Editorial Advisor
George W. Bush Institute

Learn how our Nation can embrace diversity, not divisiveness.

Bush Institute Senior Editorial Advisor Bill McKenzie published an opinion piece last week in the Dallas Morning News urging that our country’s polarization and lack of a common idea of who we are as a people fuels disputes over facts. This creates space for outside forces – like China and Russia – to spread disinformation, causing further divide.  

“Researchers have discovered those who like to spread falsehoods — think Russian trolls — thrive upon divisions within a nation. Nina Jankowicz documented this in her 2020 book, How to Lose the Information War. The then-Wilson Center scholar’s takeaway was that disinformation campaigns don’t operate in a vacuum. They exploit existing fissures.”

“Here at home, the retreat of many Americans into their separate, sometimes partisan news corners exemplifies the problem. Listening only to those who confirm our biases makes it harder to agree upon a common set of facts. So, what do we do? How do we strengthen trust among ourselves and in our institutions — and in so doing allow us to fight back against the spread of disinformation?”

Continue reading the Dallas Morning News article here. 

The Bush Institute’s recent policy recommendations on this topic offer additional ideas for preserving a reliable flow of information. They delve into how preserving local journalism and condemning violence against journalists around the world can aid in combatting the spread of disinformation.