420: Renee DiResta | Dismantling the Disinformation Machine


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By Jordan Harbinger. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Renee DiResta (@noUpside) is the technical research manager at Stanford Internet Observatory. She studies the role that tech platforms and curatorial algorithms play in the proliferation of disinformation and conspiracy theories, terrorist activities, and state-sponsored information warfare.

What We Discuss with Renee DiResta:

  • How the anti-vaxx movement, the Tea Party, and militia groups learned early on to market and cross-pollinate their messages across social media to receptive segments of the populace with shocking success.
  • The challenges faced by the US government in trying to stem the tide of social media exploitation by fringe groups and terrorists for the purposes of recruitment, generating sympathy for their causes, and fueling general chaos.
  • How entire networks of disinformation evolve to support and perpetuate interconnected webs of conspiracy theories, pseudoscientific bunk, fringe political views, and propaganda planted by hostile states and bad actors.
  • Why foreign organizations like Russia's Internet Research Agency and China's 50 Cent Party have promoted tribalism in the United States to keep us fighting among ourselves, how it serves their interests at our expense, and why we're so receptive to their influence.
  • Why memes and hashtags are so effective as short-form vehicles to promote simple ideas powerfully across wide demographics.
  • And much more...

Full show notes and resources can be found here: jordanharbinger.com/420

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