March 15, 2021

Welcome to Decode Democracy

Daniel G. Newman

Lies. Disinformation. Conspiracy theories. Hate speech. Calls to violence. Seemingly anywhere we look, the online world has become dominated by political content that seeks to anger us, divide us, deceive us, and rob us of the shared information a thriving democracy needs. Big Tech has proven it can’t fix the problem, and our lawmakers have barely scratched the surface of the solutions we need.

That’s why we’re launching a new campaign that fights online political deception to build a better democracy.

Decode Democracy is a new, nonpartisan campaign to fight online disinformation and hold technology and social media companies accountable for their actions, including through laws and regulations that build a better democracy and create an online world that is transparent, private, and safe. Our work includes:

  • Advocacy: Pushing for changes to public policy and to the behavior of technology and social media companies to create an online environment where democracy can thrive.
  • Research: Investigations, research, and data journalism bring facts to the forefront to highlight digital deception and pave the way for reforms to improve our lives online.
  • Civic Technology: Software and online tools to empower communities, journalists, and researchers to counter the spread of false information online.

Decode Democracy is part of MapLight, a nonpartisan nonprofit founded in 2005. Decode Democracy marks an expansion of MapLight’s work fighting online political deception, which began in 2016 under the leadership of former Federal Election Commission Chair Ann Ravel. Our website,, offers ways to learn about the issues, follow the latest news, and take action to influence laws and Big Tech’s policies, including:

    • Coalition to Fight Digital Deception: A coalition, convened by Decode Democracy, advocating for legislative and policy solutions to the disinformation crisis.
    • Action Center: Opportunities to join the movement and demand that lawmakers and technology and social media companies protect our democracy.
    • Legislative Hub: Track legislation in Congress that addresses the role of technology and social media companies in amplifying digital deception.
    • Recent News: Explore stories, analyses, commentary, and reports about online political deception and solutions to improve our democracy.
    • Election Deception Tracker: Quickly report deceptive or problematic political information with a free browser plug-in.
    • Decoder Newsletter: Stay up-to-date with a weekly newsletter summarizing the latest news and research about online political deception.

Social media companies won’t fix the disinformation crisis on their own. We’re running out of time to solve this problem and no less than the future of our country is at stake. Your help is critical to our success, and to the health of our democracy moving forward. Together we can stop online political deception.

Click here to sign up for email updates from Decode Democracy and follow Decode Democracy on Twitter and Facebook.

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against online
political deception.