Editorial: Fighing false statements emanating from social media

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Three cheers for Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted for denouncing disinformation that rumormongers have tried to spread about the Aug. 7 special congressional election in central Ohio.

Husted forcefully disproved a raft of false statements emanating from social media accounts and what might fairly be termed conspiracy media about the 12th Congressional District vote. The district, a reliably Republican one, is made up of Delaware, Licking and Morrow counties; and parts of Franklin, Marion, Muskingum and Richland counties.

The winner of the special vote to finish out the term of Republican U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, per Friday’s official canvass results, is state Sen. Troy Balderson, a Zanesville Republican. He narrowly defeated the Democrat, Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor of Columbus, by 1,680 votes, less than a percentage point.

Tiberi resigned early this year to take a private-sector job. Balderson and O’Connor will face each other again on Nov. 6, vying for a full, two-year congressional term.

More public officials should speak out, as Jon Husted has, when rumormongers seek to undermine Ohioans’ and Americans’ confidence in democratic processes. As Husted himself so eloquently put it in his Aug. 13 statement: “To the bad actors out there who want chaos and to erode the people’s confidence in our elections, enough is enough.”

We couldn’t say it better ourselves.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

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