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Dealing with Disinformation: Elections Under the Influence?

May 22 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT

This year elections are being held all around the world. In addition to concerns about free and fair elections, disinformation spread by state and non-state actors via social media or messengers has become a threat to electoral integrity. For example, compared to the last election cycle in Germany, people are much more concerned about the deliberate dissemination of false information online. Many fear that mis- and disinformation is being used to destabilize democracies as a long-term goal. This is not unique. Disinformation poses a major challenge that politicians, civil society, and the media have to contend with. Is the extent of concern exaggerated? Are our institutions and tech companies prepared to fend off targeted attacks?

Join the American Council on Germany and the German Consulate General New York on Wednesday, May 22, at 11 am ET for the next installment of the virtual series “Dealing with Disinformation.” In the run-up to European elections next month and U.S. elections in November, experts Cathleen Berger and Dr. Claire Wardle will join us to talk about foreign and home-grown information manipulation and elections, the role and responsibility of tech companies, as well as the dangers posed by disinformation campaigns

Cathleen Berger is a highly experienced strategist who has built up and managed multiple globally distributed, environmental, and social impact programs. Her professional experience spans across sectors: academia, government, non-profit, advocacy, corporate, and early-stage startups. She currently works with the Bertelsmann Stiftung as Co-Team Lead for Upgrade Democracy and Research Director on future technologies and sustainability. In addition, she occasionally advises and works with social purpose companies and organizations on their climate and social impact strategies. Previously, she directed the B Corporation certification process of a pre-seed climate tech startup. Prior to taking on her current role, she launched and headed up Mozilla’s environmental sustainability program.

Dr. Claire Wardle is Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Information Futures Lab and Professor of Practice at Brown University’s School of Public Health. She is considered a leader in the field of misinformation, verification, and user generated content, and co-authored the foundational report Information Disorder: An Interdisciplinary Framework for Research and Policy for the Council of Europe. In 2015, Dr. Wardle co-founded the non-profit First Draft, a pioneer in innovation, research, and practice in the field of misinformation. Over the past decade, she has developed an organization-wide training program for the BBC on eyewitness media, verification, and misinformation; led social media policy at UNHCR; been a Fellow at the Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School; and been the Research Director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania.


May 22
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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