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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 • 10:30 - 11:45
Lightning Talks: State Sponsored Trolls & (Dis) information

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How Social Shaped The Zimbabweans Uprising (Magamba Network)

Munyaradzi Dodo

This discussion will analyse how Zimbabweans used social media during the fall of Robert Mugabe, How social media helped create an environment were a peaceful transition could happen.

Is This a New Face of Info War? "Patriotic" Trolling and Disinformation -- the Iran Edition (Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society/NetFreedom Pioneers)

Speakers: Simin Kargar

Online harassment and smear campaigns are increasingly applied as a form of information control to curb free speech and exert power in cyberspace. Targeted harassment of dissidents on social media appears as the most recent form of strategic communication, where particular messages are crafted by state-affiliated actors to manipulate public opinion.

This session addresses the circumstances under which these coordinated efforts are likely to emerge, the latest practices of Iran to extend its ideological arms across social media, and the ultimate goals that they pursue.

Stopping Vietnam’s State Sponsored Trolls (Viet Tan)

Speakers: Don Le

The Vietnamese government has gone on the record in employing a 10,000-strong cyber army, whose sole purpose is to spread misinformation and silence dissent. These state-sponsored trolls — Force 47 — have deftly exploited Facebook's community standards and policies to purposefully disseminated patently fake news about activists and independent media organizations. There are online groups of government trolls coordinating mass reporting of activist accounts and celebrating their accomplishments when accounts and pages are taken down by Facebook. So how do activists take on Force 47? Come find out.

Truth on the Frontlines: Disinformation in Ukraine (IREX)

Speakers: Oleksiy Matsuka & Nataliya Gumenyuk

The fight against Russian disinformation is constant in Ukraine. Our two speakers will take you deep inside the issue with their first-person perspectives and the ways they work to overcome outside influence, maintain their independence and provide vulnerable populations and IDPs (especially in Donetsk and Luhansk) with fact-based information. Nataliya Gumenyuk, directs hromadske.ua, a journalist-led initiative to create public broadcasting in Ukraine. Since the start of the Revolution and during the conflict in Ukraine, she has been reporting from the field in Maidan, Crimea and Donbas. Named to Reporters Without Borders list of 100 Information Heroes in 2014, Oleksiy Matsuka leads the Board of the Donetsk Institute of Information. This lightning talk will address 3 key points: Russian methods of disinformation in Ukraine, how individual media outlets address it and what those inside Ukraine see as the role of the international community in fighting it.

When "fake news" drive to the south: misinformation and digital rights challenges at Latin America 2018's elections (InternetLab)

Speakers: Dennys Antonialli

This talk aims to introduce how electoral processes are a new main focus of research and advocacy concerning digital rights and to monitor the emergence of new bottlenecks for privacy, freedom of expression and democratic politics
in the Latin American region.

Digitally-driven elections raise multiple concerns, such as the protection of legitimate civic engagement and the participation of the disenfranchised, the defense of privacy and its protection of the autonomy of citizens to discuss and decide and the ensurance of access to quality political information.

As we have observed, electoral courts, commissions and proceedings designed to ensure fairness and democratic politics are traditionally driven by the regulation of offline media outlets, but are not used to internet governance standards and lack expertise and capacity to deal with cutting-edge technology implications, such as those which derive from microtargetting, profile-farming, botnets and cyberespionage.

The choice for discussing these issues from a regional perspective is not by chance. After a traumatic experience watching the latest US fake-news-turmoil, digital rights-focused organizations of the region prepare to face the next wave of challenges that will come during the 2018 elections - processes that promise to intensify a moment of political polarization and a relevant conservative rise.

The scenario seems even more troublesome when we think of social media as the new main platforms for political campaigns. This talk will rely on InternetLab's ongoing research to highlight the importance of advancing the digital rights agenda in Latin America to update and improve our electoral laws and systems.

avatar for Natalya Gumenyuk

Natalya Gumenyuk

Head, Journalist, hromadske ua
Nataliya Gumenyuk –   is a Ukrainian  journalist and commentator specializing in foreign affairs. She is co-founder and currently head of Hromadske.TV  - an initiative of Ukrainian journalist to create public broadcasting in Ukraine, and Hromadske International www.en.hromadske.tv... Read More →
avatar for Simin Kargar

Simin Kargar

Human Rights Lawyer, Berkman Klein Center
Simin Kargar is a human rights lawyer with a focus on the interrelations of technology and human rights. She studies harmful speech online, gender-based violence and technology, and the interplays of social media, power and new propaganda. In addition, Simin investigates how discourses... Read More →
avatar for Don Le

Don Le

Media Liaison, Viet Tan
Don is the Media Liaison for Viet Tan, an organisation promoting democratic change in Vietnam. He has helped connect grassroots activists with journalists to bring under-represented voices to the international community. Don has been involved in Viet Tan’s international advocacy... Read More →

Wednesday May 16, 2018 10:30 - 11:45 EDT