Webinar Dates: 1 December, 2 December and 4 December 2020
Time: 20:00 – 21:30 (Singapore Time)
About the webinar series
The manipulation of information – disinformation, misinformation and online falsehoods – continues to be a worldwide problem. It influences the processes and outcomes of elections and political discourse, public health and safety, and trust in media sources and national institutions. Collectively, these issues affect national security. This webinar series aims to: (a) enhance our understanding of the issues from a multi-disciplinary perspective, (b) probe how countries and organisations around the world are coping with the issues; and (c) explore existing and new methods to counter the problem. Acclaimed experts from academia, think tank and non-governmental organisations around the world have been invited to share their analysis and recommendations on current trends of information disorder.
Who Should Attend
Policy-makers, academics, researchers and practitioners who are: (a) concerned about the issues of disinformation, online falsehoods and influence operations being a national security threat; (b) interested in the social implications of these issues; and (c) would like to learn how states and societies can address them.
This event will be held online via Zoom. You only have to register once to attend all three webinars at the specified date and time using devices (smartphone, tablet or laptop/desktop) with internet connection.
WEBINAR 1: ELECTIONS, MISINFORMATION AND DISINFORMATION
1 December 2020, Tuesday, 20:00 – 21:30 (Singapore Time)
Misinformation and disinformation from domestic and foreign actors continue to be a problem for social peace and political discourse in many countries especially those that went to the polls in 2020 such as the U.S in the West and Myanmar in Southeast Asia. This problem will persist as countries continue to face political schisms and geopolitical competitions.
Liisa Past is the Head of Cyber Security Business Development, Cybernetica and former Chief National Cyber Risk Officer at the National Security and Defence Coordination Unit, Estonia.
She will speak on the comprehensive risk management of elections. (To be updated)
Raymond M. Serrato is an independent, open source investigator and anti-disinformation analyst based in Berlin who uses open source intelligence and data science techniques to investigate human rights abuse, disinformation, and digital threats. Formerly a social media analyst at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, he recently worked with clients to design and launch programs to protect electoral integrity and investigate malicious movements online.
He will present on tactics used to manipulate information online through a case study of a pro-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Twitter network targeting both Chinese and English-language audiences online. His presentation will also focus on the various signals used to uncover this suspicious network of likely coordinated and inauthentic activity, but also questions the limits of publicly-available data for researchers to distinguish between highly-motivated, political activists and state-backed disinformation agents.
Hunter Marston is a PhD candidate in International Relations at Australian National University in the Coral Bell School of Asia-Pacific Affairs and an independent consultant with GlobalWonks LLC. He was the recipient of a 2018-2019 Robert J. Myers Fellows Fund from the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.
He will present on misinformation, disinformation, and personal attacks that shaped political narratives around Myanmar’s November 2020 election. His presentation will also parse the variety of false narratives and highlight grassroots organisations promoting digital awareness and responsible online engagement.
Katie Joseff is a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Media Engagement, The University of Texas at Austin. Past areas of research include political disinformation and election manipulation, both within the US and abroad; the psychological biases underlying propaganda; and the effects of false information on journalism.
Presentation abstract (To be updated)
Muhammad Faizal Bin Abdul Rahman is a Research Fellow at the Cyber and Homeland Defence Programme of the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS), a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.
WEBINAR 2: HEALTH CRISES, MISINFORMATION AND DISINFORMATION
2 December 2020, Wednesday, 20:00 – 21:30 (Singapore Time)
COVID-19 infodemic aggravates the global health crisis, fuels racism and xenophobia, and feature in narratives that some diplomats use to blame other countries for the disease’s spread. This problem could persist as countries continue to experience waves of infections and seek the supply of safe and affordable vaccines.
Harris Zainul is an Analyst at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia, currently serves as a Minister-appointed member of the National Youth Consultative Council of Malaysia, and was formerly an elected member of the Malaysian Youth Parliament, and the Special Officer and Perdana Fellow to the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.
He will present on research into the granular details of COVID-19 false information; how responses centring on “fake news” legislations, based on “common sense” arguments to create deterrence places ordinary, honestly mistaken people at risk of bearing the brunt of the law; and some ways forward for Malaysia.
Aribowo Sasmito is a Co-Founder as well as the Head of Fact Checker Committee, MAFINDO, which is an anti-hoax CSO (Civil Society Organisation) in Indonesia. He will present on the infodemic in Indonesia such as unproven cures, conspiracy theories, anti-COVID-19 vaccine, false information using standard (but effective) techniques that are successfully spreading.
His presentation will also explain how the classic Indonesian’s literacy problem is not helping and what are MAFINDO’s efforts to tackle false information during pan/infodemic time.
Edward Tian is a computer science and journalism student at Princeton University and investigator at Bellingcat which is an independent international collective for investigative journalism; specialising in analysing social media and Twitter data, and recently presented his work on Covid-19 related disinformation to the World Health Organization.
He will present on tools to conduct misinformation investigations. His presentation will also distil key insights from his recent work on the QAnon conspiracy theories, and Covid-19 related disinformation that he recently presented to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Roman Adamczyk is the Research Coordinator for the EU DisinfoLab, an independent NGO focused on tackling disinformation campaigns targeting the European Union.
He will present on the evolution of the COVID-19 disinformation landscape in Europe, describing the dynamics behind the development of large conspiratorial communities in Europe and how they create new challenges for authorities. More information on the EU DisinfoLab’s work about COVID-19 disinformation is available here: https://www.disinfo.eu/coronavirus.
Gulizar Haciyakupoglu is a Research Fellow at the Cyber and Homeland Defence Programme of the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS), a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.
WEBINAR 3: TECHNOLOGY AND JOURNALISM – COUNTERING MISINFORMATION/DISINFORMATION
4 December 2020, Friday, 20:00 – 21:30 (Singapore Time)
Some governments have enacted national legislations to counter misinformation/disinformation including influence operations but laws have both strengths and limitations in the information cat and mouse game. Technology, social media influencers and journalism campaigns, digital advertisements are domains that should continue to be explored for countermeasures.
Alicia Wanless is the Director of the Partnership for Countering Influence Operations at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and is currently a working on her PhD in War Studies at King’s College London exploring how concepts from physical ecology can be applied to understand the information environment.
She will present on the role of media in influence operations, exploring how the news and journalists have been used to affect outcomes and audiences, drawing on historic and contemporary examples. Her presentation will also provide an overview of the concept of influence operations, what types of actors conduct them, what has changed in a digital age, and how journalists both deliberately and unwittingly facilitate influence operations.
Nandini Jammi is the Co-Founder of Check My Ads, a brand safety consultancy working with Fortune 500 companies and leading tech platforms; and formerly at Sleeping Giants where she convinced tech companies to suspend Alex Jones’ Infowars, Proud Boys and dozens of other high-profile extremist groups.
Presentation abstract (To be updated)
Dr Crystal Abidin is an anthropologist of vernacular internet cultures, especially influencer cultures, internet celebrity, online visibility, and social media pop cultures. She is Senior Research Fellow & ARC DECRA Fellow in Internet Studies at Curtin University. Crystal has published over 60 articles/chapters and 4 books on various aspects of influencer cultures. Her internationally-acclaimed research has been recognized by Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia, Pacific Standard Top 30 Thinkers Under 30, ABC Top 5 Humanities Fellowship, and the ICA Pop Comm Early Career Scholar Prize. Reach her at wishcrys.com.
She will be drawing on research from various interconnected projects on influencer cultures and vigilante activism in Singapore and the Asia Pacific between 2011 and 2020, this talk provides a vernacular framework for thinking about the role of social media influencers and social media pop cultures, their involvement in circuits of (mis)information ecologies, and their innovative ‘under the radar’ strategies of communication, amplification, and suppression.
4th Speaker (To be updated)
Teo Yi-Ling is a Senior Fellow at the Cyber and Homeland Defence Programme of the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS), a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.