Experts discuss dangers of misinformation, fake news and conspiracy theories
What: Roger W. Gale Symposium: The Misinformation Age
Who: Expert panel including Timothy Caulfield, Daniel Levitin, Heidi Tworek, Laura Helmuth, Jamal Greene, Gordon Pennycook, Dan Gillmor and Renée DiResta
When: Thursday, March 4 and Friday, March 5 from 1 to 5 p.m. each day
Venue: Online event via zoom
The misinformation age is upon us.
According to a recent study from Statistics Canada, the majority of Canadians have seen what they believe to be false, inaccurate or misleading information related to COVID-19 circulating online.
Only one in five Canadians say they always investigate the suspicious information they encounter, which raises the question—how are the other four reacting to news they’re consuming online, and could they unknowingly be super-misinformation-spreaders?
Over two days next week, the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences’ Department of Economics, Philosophy and Political Science presents The Misinformation Age. The event will feature talks from highly respected experts in the areas of law, internet, psychology, journalism, history and science to discuss the role of misinformation in everything from the pandemic and the 2020 American presidential election to the tools authoritarian regimes use to disseminate falsehoods.
Dr. Dan Ryder, event organizer and associate professor of philosophy, says the symposium is an opportunity to learn about what’s driving the global surge in information pollution.
“To stave off the negative impacts of misinformation, we need to first understand it and then find a way to combat it while preserving free speech,” he explains. “It’s a complex topic, but the good news is that researchers from across disciplines have begun to make real progress in exploring the ‘why’ behind it. This is a battle that belongs to all of us, so I hope the community can join us next week to become a more effective part of it.”
The Roger W. Gale Symposium is a series of events focusing on current issues that overlap multiple disciplines. Its goal is to bring together the academic and public worlds for a fruitful dialogue with subject-matter experts.
This virtual event is free and open to all and online pre-registration is required. To register, or learn more about the lineup of speakers, visit: epp.ok.ubc.ca/about/misinformation-age