As COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe, so does misinformation — thwarting efforts to control the disease and risking lives. In this webinar, Dr. Claire Wardle, a leading expert on content verification, outlined the global trends around information flows and the coronavirus. What misinformation is spreading? How is accurate information being shared? How are newsrooms, health authorities, platforms and businesses responding? During this unprecedented emergency, are we prepared for the impact of rumors and falsehoods that could have serious consequences? Together, we discussed whether we are prepared during this unprecedented emergency for the impact of rumors and falsehoods that could have serious consequences.
Claire is joined by CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan who covers the intersection of technology and politics, and investigates online disinformation campaigns.
Aspen Digital Executive Director Vivian Schiller moderated.
Dr. Claire Wardle is a leading expert on user generated content, verification and misinformation. She is co-founder and director of First Draft, the world’s foremost nonprofit focused on research and practice to address mis- and disinformation. In 2017 she co-authored a report for the Council of Europe entitled, Information Disorder: Toward an interdisciplinary framework for research and policymaking.
Dr. Wardle is a co-founder and Executive Chair of First Draft, the world’s foremost nonprofit focused on research and practice to address mis- and disinformation. Previously, Dr. Wardle was a Research Fellow at the Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics and Public Policy, and also the Research Director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School. She has worked with newsrooms and humanitarian organizations around the world, providing training and consultancy on digital transformation. Dr. Wardle earned a PhD in communications and an MA in political science from the University of Pennsylvania. She is based in New York City.
Donie O’Sullivan is a CNN reporter covering the intersection of technology and politics. He is part of the CNN Business team and works closely with CNN’s investigative unit tracking and identifying online disinformation campaigns targeting the American electorate. He also covers how social media platforms, Congress, and the American intelligence community are responding to the threat of disinformation and troll campaigns.
O’Sullivan was part of a team that uncovered several major Russian government-linked social media campaigns targeting Americans in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. His work was later used by congress investigators and others examining the extent of Russian meddling ahead of the election. He previously worked as part of CNN’s Social Discovery team, finding and verifying videos, pictures, and eyewitness accounts from social media during breaking news events. Before joining CNN, O’Sullivan worked for Storyful, a social media verification news agency, in New York and Dublin, Ireland. He has a master’s degree in political science from Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland.
Vivian Schiller is Executive Director of Aspen Digital. Over the last 30 years, Vivian has held executive roles at some of the most respected media organization in the world. Those include: President and CEO of NPR; Global Chair of News at Twitter; General Manager of NYTimes.com; Chief Digital Office of NBC News; chief of the Discovery Times Channel, a joint venture of The New York Times and Discovery Communications; and head of CNN documentary and long form divisions. Documentaries and series produced under her auspices earned multiple honors, including three Peabody Awards, four Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards, and dozens of Emmys. Schiller is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; and a Director of the Scott Trust, which owns The Guardian. She is also strategic advisor to Craig Newmark Philanthropies.