LA County to fight misinformation

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to develop a countywide strategy to combat and counter misinformation and misinformation on a variety of fronts, including issues such as elections and immigration.

Supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl co-wrote the motion, citing well-publicized misinformation issues regarding topics including the 2020 presidential election, COVID-19 and other issues. The motion directs the county CEO to develop a “communications toolkit” that various departments can use to counter these misinformation campaigns.

It also directs the County Clerk/Clerk’s Office to develop a public education campaign aimed at building confidence in the electoral process.

“Misinformation has made the COVID-19 pandemic even more deadly,” Kuehl said in a statement. “It has undermined our democratic processes and created a climate in which attacks based on race, ethnicity and gender have been alarmingly normalized. Today’s action is a first step in our effort to It will set in motion many of the strategies to ensure that our democracy, public health, and public trust are not further undermined by irresponsible individuals trying to make money or gain power by spreading blatantly false information.

The motion also calls for the hiring of a consultant to “define the types of misinformation/misinformation that require a county departmental response.” It also asks the county to send letters signed by board members to executives of “major social media, instant messaging and other relevant businesses” asking them to invest in “education campaigns.” online education and platform product features to increase user awareness and resilience”. to online disinformation, including investments in countering disinformation in culturally appropriate content available in multiple languages. »

Supervisor Kathryn Barger voted against the motion, saying she agreed with its general intent, but questioned the effectiveness of the plan. She also suggested that hiring a consultant was not the way to solve the problem.

city ​​news service