Between 2018 and 2021, the Disinformation Action Lab at Data & Society Research Institute participated in an unprecedented partnership with Census Counts, a coalition of civil society organizations, and the United States Census Bureau to monitor, analyze, and respond to disinformation threats against the 2020 decennial census. Our work was motivated out of a desire to preempt two harms that could result from sustained disinformation campaigns: intimidation leading to non-participation in the census and the undermining of the legitimacy of census data. And while we discovered several examples of “classic” disinformation attacks, we soon discovered that mis- and disinformation were not the primary drivers of the harms we had anticipated. Put simply, by centering harms we once attributed to disinformation, we discovered that the concept of disinformation was insufficient to either conceptualize or respond to the range of networked communication threats that imperiled the 2020 Census.
Co-organizers: MS/LIS student Sarah Appedu and Affiliate Professor Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, professor and coordinator for information literacy services and instruction in the University Library
Questions? Contact Sarah Appedu
This event is sponsored by HRI Research Cluster: AI & Society: Privacy, Ethics and (Dis)Information