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November 2018

Photo of Renee DiResta

Photo of Renee DiResta

Digital Disinformation

Renee DiResta, expert on media, misinformation, and trust, will address disinformation and its impact on society Nov. 13

Author and expert on media, misinformation, and trust will be the featured Bannan Forum speaker Nov. 13

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Nov. 6, 2018— Renee DiResta, head of policy at Data for Democracy, a Mozilla Fellow and frequent contributor to Wired, will be the featured speaker Nov. 13 as part of the Bannan Forum’s program, “Tech and the Human Spirit” at Santa Clara University. DiResta will address the varied actors behind disinformation and misinformation campaigns; their strategies for disruption; and the impact on how individuals and society make decisions about our policies, our health, and a range of other issues of critical importance.

The policy expert also will engage in a conversation with Paul Soukup, head of SCU’s Department of Communication, about how we can counter or minimize the impact of these campaigns.

The Nov. 13 event will start at 4 p.m. in the St. Clare Room of Santa Clara University’s Learning Commons, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053.

Media are invited to attend.

DiResta brings a wealth of experience in identifying and understanding the actions of varied state and non-state actors attempting to influence policy and societal relations. As the director of research at cybersecurity firm New Knowledge and head of policy at the nonprofit Data for Democracy, a community of volunteers working to promote trust and understanding in data and technology, she investigates the spread of “malign narratives” across social networks, and assists policymakers in understanding and responding to the problem. DiResta has advised Congress, the State Department, and other academic, civic, and business organizations on the issue, and has studied disinformation and computational propaganda in the context of pseudoscience conspiracies, terrorism, and state-sponsored information warfare.

This lecture is part of the Ignatian Center’s Bannan Forum series of inclusive, inquiring, inspired programs that showcase expert speakers, roundtable discussions, networking receptions, and focus groups to explore the topic of Tech and the Human Spirit. Technology has changed society, and will continue to shape lives, organizations, communities, and the future. The 18-month series will explore how we can steward technology’s advance to benefit humanity to the fullest, support human endeavor, and contribute to human flourishing in all its dimensions.

DiResta is a 2018 Mozilla Fellow in Media, Misinformation and Trust. She regularly writes and speaks about the role that tech platforms and curatorial algorithms play in the proliferation of disinformation and conspiracy theories, and is an Ideas contributor at Wired. Her tech industry writing, analysis, talks, and data visualizations have been featured in or covered by numerous media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Fast Company, Politico, TechCrunch, Wired, Slate, Forbes, Buzzfeed, The Economist, Journal of Commerce, and more. She was recently named to Vanity Fair’s Future Innovators Index.

She is the author of The Hardware Startup: Building your Product, Business, and Brand, published by O’Reilly Media.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 9,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering; master’s degrees in business, education, counseling psychology, pastoral ministry, and theology; and law degrees and engineering doctoral degrees. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

Media Contact
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Communications | | 408-554-5121

Event Contact
Aaron Willis | Director, Ignatian Center’s Bannan Forum | 408-554-4383 |

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