During the last week of September, experts convened in Athens to discuss disinformation, misinformation and other threats to democracy in the Athens Democracy Forum . The forum, organized in association with the New York Times, hosted the world premiere of “I, Too”, a documentary film from the mind of Carol Anderson, amongst many other events. The forum’s discussions are summarized the new New York Times article “TikTok, Fake News and Obstacles to the Ballot Box”.
“Every time that democracy has been challenged by oppressors, democracy has won”
The article focuses on the two greatest potential threats to democracy that were brought up during the forum: disinformation and misinformation, and impediments to voting. With regards to the latter, the forum debate on the challenges to US citizens’ right to vote was kicked off by Carol Anderson and the screening of “I, Too”:
“One of the first things that we have to recognize, in the U.S. context, is that you have the rise of what we call voter suppression laws,” she said. “These laws were targeted at key elements in the population to ensure that they would have multiple obstacles to have to jump over” to vote. Those groups are then blamed for not voting, when in fact, they faced, and continue to face, “obstacles that look race-neutral, but that are racially targeted. What we have to do is dismantle the barriers to voting.”
The barriers, the article continues, are part of an overall crisis of American democracy. Yet Anderson believes there is a reason to be hopeful: “Every time that democracy has been challenged by oppressors, democracy has won. The quest, the thirst for democracy is so real, is so intense that people are willing to fight for it.”