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Amid Invasion Of Ukraine, Beyer Introduces Legislation To Build American Resilience To Russian Influence Operations

Today U.S. Representative Don Beyer (D-VA) introduced legislation to educate and protect Americans against mis- and disinformation. Inspired by Finland’s K-12 program to protect Finns from Russian propaganda, the Educating Against Misinformation and Disinformation Act would improve Americans’ recognition of and resilience to mis- and disinformation.

“Russian misinformation before and during their invasion of Ukraine is shining a spotlight on the urgent need to defend our country against the threat posed by these malign influence operations,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “Even before the current conflict in Ukraine, widespread state-sponsored misinformation campaigns designed to shape distorted narratives of reality posed a major challenge to countries including the United States. This is a clear national security risk, and we must do more to build up our public defense to meet the needs of the present era of information warfare.”

The “Educating Against Misinformation and Disinformation Act” would:

  • Establish a commission to support information and media literacy, and address misinformation and disinformation. That commission would be charged with:
    • analyzing the status of education about misinformation and disinformation;
    • reporting on that status annually;
    • creating a national strategy to promote information and media literacy with a particular focus on mis- and disinformation;
    • reporting on how misinformation and disinformation are spread; and
    • at 18 months, reporting to Congress on the status of the commission and an assessment of education to address mis- and disinformation;
  • Establish a grant program to improve the American public’s resilience to dis- and misinformation;
  • Establish a study on the extent of information and media literacy among the American public and to make recommendations to Congress on how to improve it; and
  • Require an assessment from the Department of Education of the commission’s effectiveness three years after enactment.

Text of the bill is available here.