Remarks at a UN Side Event Co-Sponsored by the United States on Virtual Disinformation

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Senior Advisor for Special Political Affair
New York, New York
July 7, 2021


Thanks very much, Ryan. And thanks to all for this discussion today on mis- and disinformation, and the role that fact-checking plays in countering the spread of false information. We’re pleased to have co-sponsored this event and we thank the Permanent Missions of Costa Rica, Ghana, Republic of Korea, Lithuania, Ukraine, and the European Union Delegation, for their partnership on this issue.

I just want to make a brief observation. As an active member of the Freedom Online Coalition, we’re deeply concerned with the growing scope and sophistication of disinformation employed by state and non-state actors with malign motives. The U.S. takes a holistic approach in identifying, tracking, and countering disinformation. We deny malign actors the space to promulgate false narratives when we expose sources of disinformation, when we increase societal resilience by supporting media literacy and championing independent media, and when we employ the latest tools and technology to deter and expose disinformation.

But countering the increasing threat of disinformation requires whole-of-society efforts from governments, independent media, civil society groups – including fact checkers – academia, and the private sector. It’s also important that governments and Internet service providers address disinformation by providing reliable information through public messaging, support for public service announcements, and emergency support for public broadcasting and local journalism.

Ultimately, we must take care that our approaches to countering disinformation also do not inadvertently abuse or violate human rights and fundamental freedoms, which undergird our democracies – including freedom of expression, both online and offline.

Again, thank you to the panelists for your excellent presentations. Thanks. Back to you.