Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Digital Strength

Main content start

The internet has brought so many positive things to our lives: connection with family and friends, entertainment, and opportunities for education, among others. It also has a flipside: Sometimes it’s like trying to navigate a digital jungle where innocent missteps can have troubling consequences. Misinformation online – such as fraud, scams, false information – threatens people’s trust in institutions, organizations, and one another. Specific populations that are disproportionately targeted, such as older adults, minorities, and other groups, are especially at risk. 

The Digital Strength Initiative (DSI) is a coalition of partners formed to scale the work of the Social Media Lab by countering these forces. In an era of cascading information and an increasingly polarized world, the initiative seeks not to provide any version of the “truth.” Rather, it teaches people how to “flex” their digital strength by empowering them with the skills and autonomy to determine the authenticity of online information sources. This enables people to make better, more informed choices about important life decisions including civics, health, finances, and relationships. 

Build strength and resilience online

 This effort is led by the Social Media Lab at Stanford University. The Lab works closely with partners as “trusted messengers,” providing a suite of evidence-based tools, training, and expertise that builds resilience for constituencies (patients, customers, members, patrons) and strengthens trust in partner organizations. Current partners include MediaWise, Google’s Jigsaw, Stanford Impact Labs, and distribution partners such as the American Library Association and state chapters of the AARP. 

Boost your digital confidence 

DSI's educational tools help people ingrain behaviors and habits that give online users the autonomy to become more confident and discerning in the knowledge they acquire online. This is called “discriminant trust", the ability to determine whether an online source is worth their trust – or not. The program consists of “do’s and don’ts,” a series of accessible, self-directed interactive modules proven effective via rigorous, evidence-based research and testing. The program is free and available to all. 

To become a partner and improve the digital strength of your constituencies, contact: