The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) are issuing this announcement to raise awareness of the potential threat posed by foreign-backed online journals that spread disinformation regarding the 2020 elections. Foreign intelligence services have been known to use websites, including pseudo-academic online journals, to disseminate articles with misleading or unsubstantiated information. Such sites could be employed during the 2020 election season in an attempt to manipulate public opinion, increase societal divisions, cause widespread confusion, discredit the electoral process, and undermine confidence in U.S. democratic institutions.
Foreign intelligence services have used online journals, including some with a global reach, to exacerbate disunity and dysfunction in the United States while also misinforming or misleading readers. Foreign governments have used these journals to amplify their disinformation and overt propaganda, and they have used websites, social media, and other online platforms to amplify the journals’ messages and increase their global reach.
- Seek out information from trustworthy sources, verify who produced the content, and consider their intent.
- Rely on state and local election officials as the authoritative sources of information about how elections are conducted in their jurisdictions.
- Verify through multiple reliable sources any reports about problems in voting or election results, and consider searching for other reliable sources before sharing such information via social media or other avenues.
- Report potential election crimes—such as disinformation about the manner, time, or place of voting—to the FBI.
- If appropriate, make use of in-platform tools offered by social media companies for reporting suspicious posts that appear to be spreading false or inconsistent information about election-related problems or results.
Direct to Complete Announcement
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