While social media companies have recently stepped up their efforts to combat foreign influence on elections, more can be done to alert the public and to dismantle disinformation campaigns. Quacks and conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones or other weirdos should be called out and isolated. We should not allow messages from foreign facebook, twitter, instagram, or even harmful memes to become viral or otherwise influence Americans. Tense and heated partisan debate concerning issues is an important aspect of democracy and vetting ideas and policies.
Americans should be made aware of foreign trolls that plant misleading or incendiary information campaigns to support division and anti-Americanism, threatening national unity. But we should also not promote a new McCarthyism that sees invisible enemies in every news story or social or political movement - we must make room for genuine concerns and American ideas and policy goals while calling out the bad actors that treat democracy as a joke and utilize our freedom of expression to advance foreign authoritarian goals and interests.
Beyond calling out state-sanctioned and state-owned propaganda outlets, we should also let everyday Americans know and be aware of harmful trolls and other threat actors looking to destabilize communities and promote division, instability, and mistrust - weakening the social fabric of the US. If disinformation campaigns are fervent or widespread, Americans should be alerted to their machinations and they should be called out directly. We need to create a culture of vigilance as well as encouraging Americans to support the efforts of their government to encourage national unity and a united front against foreign trolls that hate America and her people.