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#WhatToExpect2020

Disinformation threatens our democracy. Here’s what to expect when you’re electing—and how to fight back against misleading information.

Disinformation. Spot it. Check it. Stop it.

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Disinformation and misinformation. Know the difference.

dis·​in·​for·​ma·​tion
: false information deliberately and often covertly spread (as by the planting of rumors) in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth

mis·​in·​for·​ma·​tion 
: incorrect or misleading information; not necessarily spread deliberately or intended to influence opinion

Test Your Election Disinformation Knowledge

Think you know how to spot, check, and stop the surge of disinformation heading our way this election season? Let John Lithgow, Tayari Jones, Alan Cumming, and some of your other favorite authors help you check your knowledge—and pledge to combat disinformation in the weeks ahead.

Events

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Behind the Decision Desk: Fox News, the AP, CNN, and What To Expect on Election Night

Decision desk editors at the Associated Press, Fox News, and CNN joined PEN America to discuss election calls, projections, and how news organizations plan to navigate the challenges of election night 2020.

WATCH THE VIDEO

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Disinformation Defense Workshops

PEN America has a series of disinformation defense workshops and trainings to equip you with the tools you need to spot, check, and stop disinformation. Get everything you need to understand the news. Join us.

ATTEND A WORKSHOP

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Regional Town Halls

We are bringing together voting rights experts, community organizers, journalists, and voters to prepare for an unprecedented election. Join us for a virtual town hall in partnership with our PEN Across America initiative, with communities in Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, and North Carolina.

JOIN A TOWN HALL

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How the country’s largest news outlet will navigate election night

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Here’s what you can do. Right now.

1) Diversify your news intake.

2) If you see a headline that gets your heart racing, take a beat before sharing or liking.

3) Fact check with sites like PolitiFact or Duke Reporters’ Lab.

4) Did your brother share a fake story? Don’t shame him. Check out our guide to talk to your friends and family about misinformation.

5) See a confusing story about voter registration, election deadlines, or polling place closures? Check 866OurVote.org for state-specific information.

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What To Expect When You’re Electing: A Reading List

We have gathered a list of nonfiction books that provide historical context around this moment and can help you navigate disinformation and voter suppression, learn more about political media coverage and digital content, and be informed consumers and sharers of information, especially in this critical moment.

READ MORE

Hear from the experts

The PEN Pod: Debunking Disinformation with Jane Lytvynenko

The PEN Pod: Debunking Disinformation with Jane Lytvynenko

“Ultimately, it is all of us that are spreading this misinformation, and I think it’s really important to acknowledge that all of us are going to fall for it.”
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The PEN Pod: On White Supremacy and Immigration with Jean Guerrero

The PEN Pod: On White Supremacy and Immigration with Jean Guerrero

“How does the descendant of Jewish refugees, how does that person end up crafting Trump’s harshest rhetoric and policies targeting people fleeing violence and persecution?”
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The PEN Pod: The Value of Truth During a Crisis with Paul Farhi

The PEN Pod: The Value of Truth During a Crisis with Paul Farhi

“Misinformation can literally get you killed, and good information can save your life.”
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The PEN Pod: Tough Questions with Suzanne Nossel

The PEN Pod: Tough Questions with Suzanne Nossel

“We all need to be much more conscientious about [spreading misinformation] and also equipped to talk to one another and confront one another. The advice that we give is first off: Know your facts.”
Read More

Don’t miss out

Get daily updates from PEN America on the election, free expression, and how you can be a supporter of the freedom to write. And consider joining the ranks of PEN America’s Membership.