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Photos: Kamil Krzaczynski/Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Today will be hard enough for many of us to get through without also falling for misinformation that may enrage, depress and deceive. Here are a few tips from team Axios and experts designed to relieve at least a little of the Election Day stress.

Why it matters: The intentional spread of false information aims not just to mislead, but also to keep voters from the polls and to undermine public faith in institutions.

The big picture: The antidote to misinformation is a mix of media literacy and healthy skepticism.

Here are a few tips from me:

  • Check the source before you tweet — even if your friend tweeted it.
  • Try to read the article before hitting retweet (something Twitter has been encouraging more broadly).
  • Step away from the computer when you start to feel overwhelmed. Take a breath, a bath or a walk, or build a Lego set —whatever helps you clear your head.

Laura Rosenberger, director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, agreed with those, adding:

  • Be patient.
  • Identify credible sources in advance (like your secretary of state, or state/local election officials, and the CISA rumor control website).
  • Use in-platform resources to look for credible info and report suspicious materials.
  • Be very cautious about reports of fraud or hacks or interference — the goal of bad actors is to make us lose faith in the process, and these claims could be part of that. Wait for verified information.

Snopes, which has been debunking internet myths for years, encourages people to check its existing (and still-being-updated) list of election misinformation.

  • "First: Remember that many of the rumors spreading on Election Day are likely to be things we've covered before — gaffes, mischaracterizations, cheap fakes, pics stripped of context, and more," Snopes said in a tweet.

Go deeper: BuzzFeed’s Jane Lytvynenko has some more specific tips and tools for evaluating manipulated media and other misinformation yourself in this Twitter thread.

Go deeper

Nov 17, 2020 - Technology

Facebook and Twitter CEOs to defend their firms at Senate hearing

Photo: Michael Reynolds/Pool via Getty Images

At a Senate hearing Tuesday morning, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter's Jack Dorsey will stress their companies' work to limit online misinformation and will endorse updating tech's prized liability shield as long as Congress doesn't blow it up.

Why it matters: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects online platforms from lawsuits over moderation calls and user-posted content, and many policymakers view amending or even eliminating the law as their best lever to change how companies govern online speech.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

New deals in the COVID economy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 is the macro horror of our lifetimes, and has destroyed or severely damaged countless businesses. But, like with most horribles, it also has created some opportunities.

Driving the news: Merck this morning announced an agreement to buy OncoImmune, a Maryland-based biotech that showed promising late-stage clinical results for a therapy that treats severe and critical coronavirus cases.

2 hours ago - Technology

Biden's openings for tech progress

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images 

Item No. 1 on President-elect Joe Biden's day-one tech agenda, controlling the flood of misinformation online, offers no fast fixes — but other tech issues facing the new administration hold out opportunities for quick action and concrete progress.

What to watch: Closing the digital divide will be a high priority, as the pandemic has exposed how many Americans still lack reliable in-home internet connections and the devices needed to work and learn remotely.