Even if campaigns vow to steer clear of hacked material—and Team Trump hasn’t done that—there’s still a serious danger that information will be disseminated via the media and/or social media. What complicates matters is that disinformation could be just as dangerous as hacked information.
This isn’t just the kind of scam that your mom might fall for on Facebook (though that’s still a problem). Disinformation is getting increasingly sophisticated. As The New York Times reported last year, “Artificial intelligence video tools make it relatively easy to put one person’s face on another person’s body with few traces of manipulation.”
The potential for foul play is sobering. “It’s not hard to imagine this technology’s being used to smear politicians, create counterfeit revenge porn or frame people for crimes. Lawmakers have already begun to worry about how deepfakes could be used for political sabotage and propaganda,” the Times continued.
We are entering an era where we can expect our campaigns to play dirty and our adversaries to interfere in our elections. And technology is outpacing our ability to filter out propaganda. Why don’t these issues rank on a top-20 list of things we need to worry about?