Countering Disinformation

Our Work

Democratic decisionmaking requires a shared reality based on facts.

Why Is This Important

Without shared facts, citizens in a democracy cannot trust each other or our political leaders, or make informed voting decisions that hold our representatives accountable.

Today in the United States, the unmitigated spread of disinformation — false information deliberately spread by bad-faith actors — threatens to make too many of us apathetic, or even actively hostile, towards democratic institutions and one another.

But we have powerful tools to help stop disinformation and those who intentionally spread it. Together, we can create a healthier political discourse based on shared facts, genuine disagreement, and honest differences of opinion.

The kinds of outcomes we seek

  1. Deter the spread of election-, voting-, and other democracy-related disinformation through litigation and other tools.
  2. Neutralize the biases in our information ecosystem that allow disinformation to spread more easily than facts.
  3. Disrupt the feedback loop that pushes elected officials toward enacting disinformation-driven policy.

What Impact Have We Had

Represented election workers, voters, and a postal inspector who were defamed and terrorized as part of the Big Lie conspiracy theory, and helped them spotlight the human cost of disinformation.

Produced research to help communities of color cope with the unique disinformation challenges they face, centering their voices, experiences, and expertise across these solutions.

Impact in the News

What is the Big Lie?

The Big Lie is the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump and that the Republicans who affirmed Biden’s victory were part of a conspiracy to defeat their own party’s president

August 15, 2023

  • Countering Disinformation
  • Defending the Rule of Law
  • Protecting Elections
  • Analysis

What is election subversion?

Election subversion is any effort to change the rules to prevent the true election winner from taking office. It includes disinformation, voter intimidation & suppression, and election denialism.

August 14, 2023

  • Countering Disinformation
  • Protecting Elections
  • Analysis
Books on a bookshelf in soft focus.

PEN America v. Escambia County School Board

Protect Democracy represents PEN America in litigation challenging the constitutionality of book bans in Escambia County.

May 17, 2023

  • Countering Disinformation
  • Defending the Rule of Law
  • Case Documents
Supreme Court

The “actual malice” standard, explained

What exactly is the “actual malice” standard? Our new paper, explores the history, role, and purpose of the standard, and how it fits into our democracy.

March 30, 2023

  • Countering Disinformation
  • Analysis