GGovernment Lies: Combatting Disinformation from State Actors in the Digital Age

In the digital age, advances in technology have profoundly altered how governments communicate with the public. As a result, the regulation of online speech is increasingly important to how the public accesses information, including information from state actors that shapes public opinion regarding democratic institutions. The digital age provides new tools for state actors to magnify their voices in unprecedented ways.

This paper addresses the dangers to democracy flowing from disinformation from state actors in the digital age. The insurrection at the US Capitol in 2021 provides a stark example of this problem. The objective of this paper is to tackle the question of whether reforms may be made in the US to limit the government’s capacity to disseminate disinformation without contravening the First Amendment. It is informed by the principle espoused by the US Supreme Court that a primary function of free speech is to strengthen democracy by facilitating an informed populace.