Tech didn’t cause misinformation, and it won’t solve it (by itself)
2022-07-25, 12:00–12:50, Battery 🔋

There’s no quick fix for the misinformation, disinformation, and lies were seeing in the world these days, and its natural for hackers want to work on the problems with the skills at hand. I’m going to talk about why, for hackers, that’s not necessarily a good move to do solo. I’ll go over mistakes I’ve seen way too many technologists and academics make when approaching the subject, where misinformation really comes from, and where the audience can harness what they’re good at.

It is deceptively easy to see misinformation as a data problem, as a societal issue of algorithms run amok on soulless social media platforms. However, just because the delivery of misinformation is purely technical, it doesn’t mean that the cause, or solution, is also technical. In the more than half a decade I have been working on factchecking misinformation and disinformation I have see this point lost over and over to technologist, hackers, hobbyists and academics.

This is a huge waste of talented resources, and in this talk I will go over why this is the case and explain the most serious problems that journalists, fact-checkers and politicians are facing. Hackers have been addressing large-scale issues for decades, and my talk will lay a framework down for how the MCH community and beyond can work on the lies that are propagated across the internet and the world.

There’s never been more of a need for help, and I will explain how to get the most bang for your buck.

Christopher is a journalist and technologist, currently leading the technology research and building at Duke University’s Reporters’ Lab, while being based out of Brooklyn, NY. His main focus is on automating fact checking, developing data standards for the same, and supporting the efforts of misinformation and disinformation journalists around the world.

Previously Christopher has worked on organized crime investigative reporting in Eastern Europe, consulted with global south central banks on anti-money laundering policies, founded start ups in New York City and has worked as a photojournalist in East Africa.

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