DeSantistan : Crowdsourced News Fights the Supreme Leader’s Propaganda

2 mins read

DeSantistan : Crowdsourced news fights the Supreme Leader’s propaganda

How do you fight a propaganda machine? Have volunteers crowdsource the facts and make it easy for the public to see what’s really going on.

A small team of grassroots activists in Florida has created this system with existing apps that let citizens submit stories that they see on social media or on the web, and have them displayed on a realtime dashboard. This makes it easier for the public to get the facts and filter out state-sponsored propaganda. Stories can be submitted in seconds from a phone or laptop and include the date, time, location and a link to the original article.

Submit a story
See the dashboard

Map of DeStanistan
Share this dashboard freely with this link.


News articles show how Ron DeSantis has created his own private police forcebullies children in publicattacks the LGBT communitydenies women their rights and pushes racist voter suppression. One would almost think that Florida had become a private empire DeStanistan with a Supreme Leader, and not a democracy anymore. But fighting a state-sponsored propaganda machine is hard. How can voters find the facts?

Reports are shared on Facebook and Twitter, but are fleeting and often drowned out by bots. And it is hard to assemble tweets and posts into a bigger picture where trends are easier to spot.

Crowdsource to share the truth

Grassroots activists are using technology to fight back. Volunteers scan and enter stories that matter into a simple form along with the details, time, location and a link to the original article. These submissions are screened and then shown on a real-time dashboard. Both the submission form and the dashboard are shared on social media as links and QR Codes. Volunteers can even submit their own stories along with the photo of an incident. The system uses esri technology which already has millions of users.

Submit a story
Submit a story with this link

TakeAway: Fight disinformation by making it easy for volunteers to collect and share what’s really going on.


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Reposted from Democracy Labs with permission.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Democracy Labs is a hub for ongoing technology and creative innovation that serves progressive campaigns and organizations at the national, state, and local levels.

Our focus is on long term, sustainable and affordable solutions. An approach that is longer than an election cycle, and isn’t purely dependant on volunteers, can enable more qualified candidates to run for office and for more issue groups to bring about positive social change.

Democracy Labs is a project of the Tides Advocacy Fund.

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