From your inbox to the ballot box, how do we keep misinformation from destroying democracy? A recent bipartisan Senate investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election confirmed that Russian agents used social media and other means to help the Trump campaign. Fake events, rampant misinformation, and other techniques were designed to sow discord and pit neighbor against neighbor. One group singled out in the report is African Americans, who were targets of the Russian agents. The Senate report recommends sweeping changes. Hear from Renee DiResta and Matt Mitchell on what’s required from Washington, DC, Silicon Valley and us to safeguard elections in 2020 and beyond.
Renée DiResta is a 2019 Mozilla Fellow in Media, Misinformation, and Trust. She investigates the spread of malign narratives across social networks, and assists policymakers in understanding and responding to the problem. She has advised Congress, the State Department, and other academic, civic, and business organizations, and has studied disinformation and computational propaganda in the context of pseudoscience conspiracies, terrorism, and state-sponsored information warfare.
Renée regularly writes and speaks about the role that tech platforms and curatorial algorithms play in the proliferation of disinformation and conspiracy theories. She is an Ideas contributor at Wired. Her tech industry writing, analysis, talks, and data visualizations have been featured or covered by numerous media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Fast Company, Politico, TechCrunch, Wired, Slate, Forbes, Buzzfeed, The Economist, Journal of Commerce, and more. She is a 2019 Truman National Security Project security fellow and a Council on Foreign Relations term member.
Renée is the author of The Hardware Startup: Building your Product, Business, and Brand, published by O’Reilly Media.
Matt Mitchell is the Director of Digital Safety and Privacy at Tactical Tech. He is a hacker, security researcher, operational security trainer, developer and data journalist who founded and leads CryptoHarlem, impromptu workshops teaching basic cryptography tools to the predominantly African American community in upper Manhattan. Matt trains activists and journalists (as an independent trainer for Global Journalist Security) in digital security. His personal work focuses on marginalized, aggressively monitored, over-policed populations in the United States.