I Have No Jokes on Disinformation
Happy Wednesday, dearests. This week, I was down at Stanford for the Digital Disinformation Forum, the West Coast event for Disinfo Week. As they describe it, Disinfo Week is a “week-long set of strategic dialogues on how to collectively address the global challenge of disinformation.” And specifically, this forum was focused on how said challenge was a threat to democracy worldwide.
The two days were fascinating slash scary as hell. In the words of a participant - we were there under Chatham House rules, so I won’t name who said it - “I don’t know whether I’m more terrified or fascinated.” We spent the two days hearing about how disinformation, hyper-partisan rhetoric, hate speech, and other forms of expression-chilling content are weaponized and deployed worldwide in the service of both state and non-state actors.
In the room were NGOs, academics, technologists, politicians, ambassadors, and journalists. I am still digesting what we discussed, and will be sharing more as I pull my thoughts together, but needless to say, it is more important than ever to remain vigilant in our dedication to democratic ideals.