Doug Bedell — November 17, 2021, 1:10 pm

‘Truth Decay’ a Threat to National Security


From the Homeland Security Digital Library comes an advisory from the Rand Corporation on the decay of truth in news reporting. That’s important because national security depends on an accurate shared understanding of daily events worldwide.

Rand focuses on “Tracking news manipulation by state actors”. “The world,” it explains, “is experiencing a crisis related to disagreements over the established truth, a phenomenon that RAND refers to as Truth Decay — a shift in public discourse away from facts and analysis that is caused by four interrelated drivers (Rich and Kavanagh, 2018):

“1. An increasing disagreement about facts and analytical interpretations of facts and data
“2. A blurring of the line between opinion and fact.
“3. An increasing relative volume, and resulting influence, of opinion and personal experience over fact.
“4. A declining trust in formerly respected sources of factual information.

“Truth Decay is a serious threat to both domestic U.S. and international security, one that is being exacerbated by malign efforts from a variety of national bad actors. These ill-intentioned efforts to misuse information are labeled many ways—readers might have seen these efforts labeled as disinformation, misinformation, fake news, and information operations…”

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