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Fighting Disinformation to Save Democracy with
Claudia Flores-Saviaga

Thursday, March 3, 2022, 2 – 3:30PM

The Internet has become a plague on democracy. Worldwide, we have seen the surge of disinformation, hate speech, and hackers. Online violence and disinformation have had a chilling effect on citizen participation, undermining democracy in all its key elements. To counter these threats, numerous tools and platforms have emerged. However, these platforms have so far been ineffective at opposing disinformation. Claudia Flores-Saviaga will argue that to design effective tools we need to first understand how people produce disinformation, and how they are fighting back to overcome disinformation.

In this talk, Ph.D. candidate in the Citizen AI Lab at Northeastern University Claudia Flores-Saviaga will first present their large-scale data analysis research on how a political troll community fabricates disinformation and engages people to participate with them. Using framing theories from collective action research, they uncover that posts that integrate conspiracy theories are the most effective at driving participation with political trolls. Next, they will present a multi-platform large-scale data analysis on how people organize to fight misinformation in the aftermath of a natural disaster. They uncovered that citizens created micro-tasks to facilitate participation from a wide range of specialists to limit misinformation. Armed with the knowledge of this data analysis, they will present a new architecture that goes beyond fact-checking and instead focuses on crowdsourcing citizens to overcome conspiracy theories and strengthen democracy.

Watch a video of the talk below.


Last Updated: 8/8/23