Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election showed how easily malicious actors can exploit the free flow of information. In the years since, the problem has only become more acute as disinformation campaigns have evolved to become more widespread and complex. The proliferation of disinformation campaigns to exploit mistrust and spread hyperbolized sentiments has seriously undermined confidence in western democracies. Meanwhile authoritarian states utilize domestic disinformation campaigns to rally their citizens and discredit enemies abroad. More advanced technologies—including using artificial intelligence and algorithms—means disinformation campaigns can be created and distributed at an alarming rate. Digital disinformation is a global challenge that will require new coalitions, tools, and strategies. Join the World Affairs Council on May 16 at 12:00pm PDT for a discussion on the weaponization of disinformation and challenges for countering its spread with Steven Lee Myers, veteran foreign and national security correspondent for The New York Times, and Dr. Addie Kingsland, Senior Data Scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
This virtual program will be off-the-record and not available for extended viewing.
About the Speakers:
Steven Lee Myers is a veteran foreign and national security correspondent for The New York Times, currently based in California covering misinformation at home and abroad. From China, he contributed to the articles on the coronavirus pandemic that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2021.
He joined The Times in 1989 and has previously worked in New York, Washington, Moscow (twice), Baghdad, Beijing and Seoul, including four times as bureau chief. He is also the author of “The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin,” published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2015.
Dr. Addie Kingsland is a senior data scientist with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and focuses on disinformation research in social media. Their work spans text, video, and audio domains, including research on author similarity and DeepFake videos. In their free time, you can usually find them at home snuggling one of their five goats.