Combating Fake News: An Agenda for Research and Action 2/17

[Note: this event at Harvard Law School on Friday 17 February is currently full, but if you are a current Harvard undergraduate with a real interest in the topic please reach out to Jed and he’ll see what he can do.]

Combating Fake News: An Agenda for Research and Action
Harvard Law School

Agenda 17 February

8:00 – 8:30am | Continental breakfast
8:30 – 8:45am | Welcome by Nicco Mele, Introduction by Matt Baum (Harvard) and David Lazer (Northeastern): The science of fake news: what is to be done?

MORNING SESSION: FOUNDATIONS
How and why is fake news a problem? What are the underlying individual and aggregate processes that underlie its capacity to do harm?

8:45 – 10:30am | Panel 1: The psychology of fake news
How do people determine what information to attend to, and what to believe?
How does fake news fit into this picture?
● Moderator: Maya Sen, Harvard
● Panelists: Brendan Nyhan (Dartmouth), Adam Berinsky (MIT), Emily Thorson (Boston College), Steven Sloman (Brown), Gordon Pennycook (Yale), Miriam Metzger (UC Santa Barbara)

10:30 – 10:45am | Coffee break

10:45 – 12:30pm | Panel 2: How fake news spreads
How does information spread amongst people in the current news ecosystem?
How is this driven by our social ties, by social media platforms, and by “traditional” media? What lessons can be learned from history?
● Moderator: Nicco Mele, Harvard
● Panelists: David Lazer (Northeastern), Filippo Menczer (Indiana), Michael Schudson (Columbia), Kelly Greenhill (Tufts and Harvard Belfer Center), Yochai Benkler (Harvard), Duncan Watts (Microsoft Research)

12:30 – 1:00pm | Lunch (bag lunch to be provided)

AFTERNOON SESSION: IMPLICATIONS AND INTERVENTIONS

1:00 – 2:45pm | Panel 3: Responses by Public and Private Institutions
What role is there for public institutions (e.g., local, state and federal government) to combat fake news and its harmful effects? What role is there for private actors (e.g., social media companies, scholars, NGO’s, activists) to combat fake news and its harmful effects? Note: this panel is off-the-record.
● Moderator: Tarek Masoud, Harvard
● Panelists: Greg Marra (Facebook), Katherine Brown (Council on Foreign Relations), Lori Robertson (FactCheck.org), Eli Pariser (UpWorthy), David Rothschild (Microsoft Research), Adam Sharp (former head of News, Government, and Elections, Twitter)

2:45 – 3:00pm | Closing remarks (Matt Baum and David Lazer)

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