As Web traffic spikes ahead of the U.S. presidential election, a group of free and open-source Web sites is pushing back on harmful misinformation that threatens the integrity of American democracy.
Wikipedia, one of the most popular sites on the Internet, will share its knowledge of disinformation — such as those posed by bots designed to create the illusion of viral news — with a group called the nonpartisan, nonprofit World Wide Web Foundation. The W.H.O. also launched a searchable database of misinformation known as Covid-19.
While the groups are trying to counter the flood of disinformation created by foreign countries and hacktivists, they are trying to harness the power of democracy to stop false information from spreading and holding those responsible accountable.
“We are looking at the next election as a particularly crucial moment in the history of information exchange on the internet,” said Jyoti Malhotra, an associate editor at Wikipedia who is overseeing the partnership. “Anything that we can do to make sure that information goes out as far as possible, whether that’s search and social media or social media, government websites, or other web services, that is how we can reach as many people as possible.”