Trolls, bots, and fake news posed a serious threat to internet freedom this year—and there’s no easy answer in sight.
THINK OF A country that stifles internet freedom. You might first jump to the oppressive regimes of North Korea, China, or Cuba, where internet access is either forbidden or radically restricted. But in fact, according to a recent studyby the non-profit Freedom House, the principles of internet freedom are under attack worldwide—including in the United States. And it’s only getting worse.
Overt government restrictions, after all, aren’t the only way to impede internet freedom. As fake news and propaganda flourish online, and automated bot accounts bloom on social media, the manipulation and distortion of information serves as its own kind of censorship.