Between Likes and Lies: The Battle Against Media Manipulation

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Between Likes and Lies: The Battle Against Media Manipulation

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CUNY Graduate School of Journalism 219 W 40th Street 3rd Floor New York, NY 10018

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Between Likes and Lies: The Battle Against Media Manipulation

From social movements to political parties, governments, dissidents, and corporations, many groups engage in active efforts to shape media narratives. These efforts to exploit technical, social, economic and institutional configurations of media can catalyze social change, sow dissent, and challenge the stability of social institutions.


The News Integrity Initiative and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism will host Data & Society Research Institute and researchers from the Media Manipulation Initiative (MMI) for an overview of the research initiative’s approach to understanding the social, political, and economic incentives to game information systems, websites, platforms, and search engines. The team will also preview several of their upcoming research reports for an audience of journalists and media makers.


Speakers for the evening will include:

  • Joan Donovan, Research Lead for the Media Manipulation Initiative, with an overview of Data & Society's Media Manipulation Initiative and a preview of The Oxygen of Amplification: Better Practices for Reporting on Extremists, Antagonists, and Manipulators Online by Whitney Phillips. The paper focuses on interviews with journalists and seeks to create a new paradigm for editorial best practices that is designed to minimize narrative hijacking by bad-faith actors (launching May 22);
  • danah boyd, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and Founder/President of Data & Society, on Media Literacy Frames which draws on Dr. boyd’s work examining the unique challenges of trying to inform the public amidst an epistemological war;
  • Francesca Tripodi, Data & Society Researcher, on Searching for Alternative Facts, Analyzing Scriptural Inference in Conservative News Practices informed by Dr. Tripodi’s ethnographic research within upper-middle class communities in the Southeastern United States (launching May 16);
  • Jeff Jarvis, CUNY's Director of Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, will join Joan Donovan in an armchair conversation.

The program for the evening will end with a facilitated Q&A discussion with the audience. A catered reception will follow the talk.


Monday, May 14, 2018 6pm-8:30pm

Program will begin promptly at 6:30pm

CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

219 W 40th Street, 3rd Floor

New York, NY 10018

RSVP is required to attend. Photo ID will be required at the door.

This event is made possible through the generous support of Craig Newmark Philanthropies and the News Integrity Initiative.


About The News Integrity Initiative at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism:

The News Integrity Initiative at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism is a philanthropic fund and a global coalition of newsrooms, nonprofits, technologists, and academics to foster mutually trusting relationships between journalists and the communities they serve, while also tackling the spread of disinformation, and nurturing respectful and inclusive civic dialogue. NII is a project of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, under the auspices of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism.


About Data & Society and the Media Manipulation Initiative (MMI):

Data & Society is a research institute in New York City that is focused on the social and cultural issues arising from data-centric and automated technologies.

The Media Manipulation Initiative (MMI) at Data & Society examines how different groups use the participatory culture of the internet to turn the strengths of a free society into vulnerabilities, ultimately threatening expressive freedoms and civil rights. Broadly, this initiative takes a sociotechnical approach to understanding the social, political, and economic incentives to game information systems, websites, platforms, and search engines—especially in cases where the attackers intend to destabilize democratic, social, and economic institutions. Through empirical research, we identify the unintended consequences of socio-technical systems and track attempts to locate and address threats, with an eye towards increasing organizational capacity across fields, so that action can be taken as problems emerge.