Infodemic: who's really behind the Covid conspiracies?

Monday 3 August 2020

Duration: 6:30PM - 7:30PM

Status: Completed

Disinformation continues to disorient us. As part of our ongoing investigation into the sources and structures that perpetuate the spread of fake news, join Tortoise’s investigations team and invited experts in tracking far-right Facebook groups as we examine the social media accounts consistently and deliberately spreading lies on many subjects, and to great effect. What are their motivations? Who funds them? And what can be done – by the platforms, the fact-checkers and ordinary social media users – to halt the infodemic at source?

Chair: James Harding, Editor and Co-founder, Tortoise

Our special guests are:

Manlio De Domenico is a physicist, Senior Researcher at Fondazione Bruno Kessler (Italy), where he leads the interdisciplinary Complex Multilayer Networks (CoMuNe) Lab, and national coordinator of the Italian Chapter of the Complex Systems Society. His research is focused on the study of collective phenomena emerging from natural and artificial interdependent systems, with leading contributions to modelling and analysis of multilayer networks, their structure, dynamics, information capacity and resilience to shocks. His applications range from biological to socio-technical systems, with impact on personalised medicine, smart city engineering, risk assessment and policy-making in response to spreading phenomena such as epidemics and infodemics. Recently, he coordinated the team behind the COVID19 Infodemic Observatory.

Raymond M Serrato is an open source investigator and social media analyst based in Berlin. His research on social media and elections, influence operations, and mis/disinformation has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, and CNN. He has worked for the United Nations, the EU, and civil society organisations managing projects in countries as diverse as Tunisia, Pakistan, and Myanmar. In another life, he was a communications specialist in the US Navy, where he learned how to dog down a hatch and fight a class “B” fire.

Lucy Hooberman is Professor of Digital Media & Innovation at the University of Warwick. Her research is focussed on real world, practise-based projects such as the qualitative research necessary to launch a new NHS digital health platform serving the needs of NHS staff as well as the patient population of the West Midlands. She joined Academia from a career in “mainstream” media as a Producer and executive Producer for Channel 4 and at the BBC in their Innovation Lab, BBC Imagineering for eight years in “new” media supporting and leading the BBC’s transition onto the internet and into the world of the WWW.