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Welcome to the Official Schedule for RightsCon Toronto 2018. This year’s program, built by our global community, is our most ambitious one yet. Within the program, you will find 18 thematic tracks to help you navigate our 450+ sessions

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Last updated: Version 2.3 (Updated May 15, 2018).

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Wednesday, May 16 • 14:30 - 15:45
The Perfect Storm? Misinformation and Extremist Propaganda

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When does ‘fake news’ stop being and buzzword and become sinister propaganda? Fears are mounting over the increasingly symbiotic relationship between purveyors of misinformation and violent extremist organisations. Extremist groups have always used misleading or false narratives to recruit vulnerable individuals to their cause, increasingly through online propaganda and messaging. The growing flood of misinformation in the global media ecosystem provides ample fodder for these groups to increase the scale of their recruitment efforts. Extremist groups and malicious actors spreading misinformation are mutual beneficiaries of the chaos that ensues when it is increasingly hard to tell truths from lies, facts from fiction on the internet.

This fireside chat will bring together leaders from technology, media and civil society to discuss how we respond to the challenges presented by this new internet media ecosystem. The session will pose the following questions to experts and audience members:

1. How is the relationship between online misinformation and violent extremism evolving? What impact is this having on the online environment and the health of broader public discourse?
2. What lessons have been learned from attempts to tackle extremist content on the internet in responding to disinformation? In both cases, context is critical. In both cases, human rights to speech and protection from harm are at stake. Where can experts on violent extremism provide best practice to those working to counter disinformation?
3. Who should be at the forefront of efforts to tackle disinformation? Where does this differ from efforts to tackle extremist recruitment? When are governments or technology companies inappropriate or uncredible actors? How and when should those dealing with violent extremism and disinformation collaborate? When should they be firewalled?
4. What practical systems or processes can we build to ensure collaboration when tackling malicious content that knowingly fuels hate and extremism?

avatar for Rob Pegoraro

Rob Pegoraro

Contributing Editor, PCMag
Rob Pegoraro tries to make sense of computers, gadgets, the Internet, apps, and other things that beep or blink. He covers tech policy at Yahoo Finance, writes a tech-help column for USAToday.com, offers telecom and gadget guidance at Wirecutter and has contributed to such sites... Read More →

avatar for Chloe Colliver

Chloe Colliver

Project Coordinator, ISD
avatar for Joan Donovan

Joan Donovan

Media Manipulation/Platform Accountability Research Lead, Data & Society
avatar for Dean Jackson

Dean Jackson

Assistant Program Officer, National Endowment for Democracy
I work on the Research & Conferences team at the National Endowment for Democracy, a grantmaking institution that provides support to democratic activists and independent media around the world. On the R&C team, I handle disinformation-related projects. Talk to me about disinfo, political... Read More →

Wednesday May 16, 2018 14:30 - 15:45 EDT