This year it has become painfully evident Russia's misinformation campaigns are having an effect. The question now is what does the world do about it? This is probably the most vexing problem the world faces. So we need an answer, and we need it fast. This is, at least in part, why the US now has a clown as president-elect. STOCKHOLM — With a vigorous national debate underway on whether Sweden should enter a military partnership with NATO, officials in Stockholm suddenly encountered an unsettling problem: a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue. The claims were alarming: If Sweden, a non-NATO member, signed the deal, the alliance would stockpile secret nuclear weapons on Swedish soil; NATO could attack Russia from Sweden without government approval; NATO soldiers, immune from prosecution, could rape Swedish women without fear of criminal charges. They were all false, but the disinformation had begun spilling into the traditional news media, and as the defense minister, Peter Hultqvist, traveled the country to promote the pact in speeches and town hall meetings, he was repeatedly grilled about the bogus stories. “People were not used to it, and they got scared, asking what can be believed, what should be believed?” said Marinette Nyh Radebo, Mr. Hultqvist’s spokeswoman. As often happens in such cases, Swedish officials were never able to pin down the source of the false reports. But they, numerous analysts and experts in American and European intelligence point to Russia as the prime suspect, noting that preventing NATO expansion is a centerpiece of the foreign policy of President Vladimir V. Putin, who invaded Georgia in 2008 largely to forestall that possibility. In Crimea, eastern Ukraine and now Syria, Mr. Putin has flaunted a modernized and more muscular military. But he lacks the economic strength and overall might to openly confront NATO, the European Union or the United States. Instead, he has invested heavily in a program of “weaponized” information, using a variety of means to sow doubt and division. The goal is to weaken cohesion among member states, stir discord in their domestic politics and blunt opposition to Russia. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! More of Kremlin’s Opponents Are Ending Up Dead AUG. 20, 2016 http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/29/world/europe/russia-sweden-disinformation.html?_r=0 The West has a long tradition of freedom of the press and free speech. We certainly don't want to become like Russia and China and supress speech: where only the party line is voiced. But we do need a way of dealing with misinformation. The other day in the US an armed guy walked into a pizza store and demanded to see see the sex slave children Hilary Clinton was holding in the establishment. Obviously, Clinton has never been a sex trafficker, much less a sex trafficker of children. But this guy believed it enough to show up at this establishment and threaten people with his gun. The genesis of this story is rooted in Russian hacking and misinformation. It doesn't even make sense, but this guy and many more like him, mostly right wing nuts, believed it, and now he is believing it from his jail cell. So where does this end, and how do we deal with it?