Combatting Internet Disinformation Campaigns

Whether by foreign governments like Russia, or by fraudsters and other individuals wishing to influence opinion and actions on the internet for their own ends, disinformation campaigns have become an acute problem that social media sites are facing calls to address. Beginning with a tech tutorial on how fake news and other misinformation is created and distributed in an artificially viral way and how bots and fake users are employed to manipulate people, this session will cover the roles of platforms in identifying and combatting disinformation campaigns. The discussion will include:

• Virality online can be good or bad, but how do we distinguish between the good and content that malevolently manipulates or undermines democracy?

• How should platforms fight back against disinformation campaigns, including future campaigns to influence our elections.

• As a platform, when do you have a legal obligation to act or to report actors manipulating your site?

• What obstacles – legal, practical, and otherwise – do platforms face in addressing these issues?

• A certain segment of users don’t care that they’re receiving fake news, and won’t necessarily rely on verification tools even if they’re made available. What’s the proper response from platforms to this challenge?

• What is the appropriate role of governments in facing these issues and how can platforms better work with governments on this challenge?

Samir Jain, Partner, Jones Day (Moderator)
Dipayan Ghosh, Fellow, Public Interest Technology, New America
Nicole Wong, Principal, Nwong Strategies
Samuel Woolley, Director of the Digital Intelligence Lab, Institute for the Future


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