Disinformation “Expert” Tells People To Only Use “Trusted Sources,” Avoid “Doing Your Own Research”

Brianna Lyman, elections correspondent at The Federalist, recently reported on a panel discussion featuring Al Schmidt, Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth, and Beth Schwanke, Executive Director of the Pitt Disinformation Lab. Schmidt and Schwanke, speaking at a forum organized by Spotlight PA, voiced their stance on “misinformation” and “disinformation” surrounding elections. Strikingly, Schwanke recommended that rather than conducting self-led investigations, Pennsylvanians should place their confidence in so-called “trusted” sources. These include certain institutions and media outlets that have unfortunately been tied in the past to acts of censorship.

“One thing everyone can do to make sure they are seeing accurate information is to use trusted sources. So in elections that means using the Department of State, that means using your county elections office, it means using media organizations that follow, that adhere, to professional journalism standards like … your local NPR affiliate,” Schwanke said. “And it doesn’t mean you know, ‘doing your own research’ and just asking questions and sharing, you know, posts from – I don’t know, in my case, it’s Uncle Joe, right? It means being thoughtful about where your sources are coming from.”

Schwanke’s advice, interestingly, seemed to discourage individual research, questioning, and sharing of ideas. Instead, she advocated the use of sources like the Department of State, county elections offices, and, strikingly, media organizations such as local NPR affiliates, which she implied upheld superior journalistic standards.

Typing by Glenn Carstens-Peters is licensed under Unsplash unsplash.com
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