In June 2019, Indivisible New Rochelle, Indivisible Westchester and Indivisible NYCD-16 hosted a Disinformation Forum, "Beat the Bots and Trash the Trolls."
A goal of the forum was to educate ourselves on the dynamics of disinformation and election interference via social media. How is it that troll-generated disinformation gains traction? How do bogus tweets and posts get amplified across the world in a matter of hours? What should we expect as we approach the election of 2020?
Two experts addressed these questions:
Research Director at New Knowledge and Co-Author of The Disinformation Report for the US Senate Intelligence Committee
Executive Director of the NYC Media Lab, Founder of the March for Truth
In her interview with Sam Harris, Renee DiResta, Research Director of New Knowledge, provides a brilliant overview of the Disinformation campaign that was waged by the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA)
"Americans elected Donald Trump president after a bruising campaign mired by disinformation online and suspicious hacks. We now know the Russian government interfered in the elections by manipulating social media in a bold attempt to influence the vote. The Russian tactics may have been new, but their propaganda playbook is age-old. The NBC News Business, Tech and Media team recounts what happened in 2016 and sheds light on what it means for our democracy going forward."
"This glossary features the most frequently used and commonly misunderstood words, acronyms, and phrases that relate to information disorder. It is designed to be a living document that will evolve as a reference point alongside research findings, shifts in technology, and the inevitable debates sparked by the definitions." July, 2018
On February 16, 2018 Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 members of Russias's Internet Research Agency (IRA), stating that: "Defendants knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other (and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury) to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016. "
On December 17 2018, New Knowledge and Oxford Internet Institute delivered reports to the Senate Intelligence Committee. The executive summaries for each report are essential reading, and they will most likely provoke you to read further.