About The Guide
Why Spitfire Created This Guide
Disinformation has emerged as one of the biggest threats to democracy, public health, climate change action and the advancement of racial and gender justice. We’ve seen coordinated disinformation campaigns manipulate social media in an attempt to suppress Black voter participation in numerous election cycles. Black women like Shireen Mitchell have been documenting the problem for years. Disinformation running rampant on social media disrupts and endangers our public health and economic responses to the coronavirus pandemic so much so the World Health Organization has coined it an “info-demic.” And decades of disinformation have slowed the global response to climate change and discredited the legitimate science explaining the changes in our climate.
While disinformation is by no means a new phenomenon, our 24-hour news cycle, evolving technology and social media networks have accelerated its dissemination in recent years. Whether to preserve corporate interests, hoard political power or maintain white supremacist and patriarchal systems, we can’t ignore the fact that harmful narratives about marginalized communities have been pushed by persuasion campaigns for decades (or longer) in the U.S., and those are still at play in our current communication ecosystem.
And disinformation is not only shared on social media and by sometimes well-meaning journalists. Our lives are in constant connection through digital technologies like texts, emails and chat services. Our offline conversations often reflect what we see online and also spread misinformation among the people we trust the most.
Special thanks to all the civil rights partners and disinfo researchers who peer-reviewed this project and gave us helpful feedback. Your ideas and contributions improved the final product and we are so grateful for your time and knowledge. We are protecting their identities for their privacy.