Today's self-selecting solo terrorists answer only to their god, whether seeking to destroy all government, pursuing racial separation or genocidal goals, expressing sexual dissatisfaction, or simply wanting to leave their mark. Military operations are irrelevant. This is a deeper societal problem.
Disinformation has become a central feature of the COVID-19 crisis. This type of malign information and high-tech “deepfake” imagery poses a risk to democratic societies worldwide by increasing public mistrust in governments and public authorities. New research highlights new ways to detect and dispel disinformation online.
RAND researchers asked a nationally representative sample of adults about their news-consumption habits. The answers reveal clues about what it might take to address Truth Decay, the decline of facts in U.S. public life.
Like COVID-19, disinformation spreads only if we help it spread. While we have all been asked to stay at home as responsible citizens to contain the virus, we should also feel responsible for making it harder for disinformation to spread.
Quantum computers are expected to be powerful enough to break the current cryptography that protects all digital communications. But this scenario is preventable if policymakers take actions now to minimize the harm that quantum computers may cause.
Jennifer Kavanagh, who wrote the RAND book Truth Decay about the diminishing role that facts play in making important public policy decisions, calls the unfolding situation with the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 a worst-case scenario.
RAND researchers asked people where they get their news, how reliable they think it is, and whether they seek out viewpoints that are different from their own. The results provide some new clues to help diagnose and treat Truth Decay.
This weekly recap focuses on responding to Russian subversion, how the media can help fight Truth Decay, the first supervised drug consumption site in the United States, artificial intelligence, and more.
Truth Decay is the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life. As part of this phenomenon, Americans are losing faith in once-trusted sources of information, including the news. How might media organizations address this?
As social media has increasingly become the main outlet for people to acquire news and opinion, there are concerns about the effect of algorithm-driven services on the spread of misleading information. But the issue doesn't merely lie with how social platforms use algorithms to deliver content.
Humans carry flaws in deciding what is or is not real. The internet and other technologies have made it easier to weaponize and exploit these flaws. And artificial intelligence will likely be used to exploit these weaknesses at an unprecedented scale, speed, and level of effectiveness.