Aspen Institute Commission Recommends Urgent Action to Address “Crisis of Trust and Truth”

A bipartisan “Commission on Information Disorder” sponsored by the Aspen Institute released its final report Nov. 15, 2021, detailing a series of recommendations for all of society – government and private sector – to address the “crisis of trust and truth” resulting from online disinformation and misinformation.

“It is the Commission’s belief that information disorder is a whole-of-society problem that can have life-or-death consequences. It will require urgent and meaningful interventions, resources, legal and policy changes, and the commitments of every part of society to reverse these disturbing trends. We must all be doing more than we are to combat this problem,” according to the report’s commissioners, which included former DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Christopher Krebs, former Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), journalist Katie Couric, Prince Harry, and former Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos.

The report puts forward recommendations that can be taken to address issues including election security and COVID-19 disinformation and misinformation online, painting a picture of an urgent moment to take action. The commissioners focused their recommendations in three areas: increasing transparency, building trust, and reducing harms.

The report offers several recommendations, including creating a “national response strategy” to establish roles and responsibilities for fighting disinformation and misinformation across the executive branch, investing in local journalism, content moderation platform disclosure, ad transparency, diversifying social media platform workforces, promoting accountability norms, and investing in civic education.

In order to help implement the report, the Aspen Institute’s Tech Policy Hub also announced a prize competition that will award five semifinalist teams $5,000, and the winner $75,000, for plans to execute the report’s recommendations.