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Government vs The Robots

This is not propaganda

Season 3, Ep. 2

In the first episode of a new series exploring misinformation, disinformation and communication, Jonathan talks to Author Peter Pomerantsev. Having lived in Post-Soviet Russia where he made TV, Peter has a unique insight into how some of the 'nebulous nostalgia' of that period is on display today in the UK and the US. The conversation covers the great 'f**k off to facts', why we buy into conspiracy theories, the challenges facing civil society in the internet era and how we might construct a new, neutral digital public sphere.

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  • 10. The news on The News

    Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism joins Jonathan this week to chat through some of the challenges facing media creators and consumers.
  • 9. Talking Telengana

    Tackling misinformation in India is the subject of enquiry this week as Jonathan is joined by Rema Rajeshwari, District Police Chief in Telengana State. Rema has used a series of innovative approaches to prevent crimes such as mob violence which had been driven by false Whats App rumours. The episode also covers the pace of digital transformation in India and the rise of cybercrime.
  • 8. Artificial Journalists

    This week we take a look at disinformation in the Middle East with Marc Owen Jones. Marc talks us through how he found fake journalists writing for US news sites, explains some of the disinformation he's seen put to use by countries like Saudi Arabia and gives the lowdown on which Twitterstorms it is really worth paying attention to.
  • 7. Haters gonna...coin it?

    Jonathan is joined this week by Imran Ahmed, Chief Executive of the Centre for Countering Digital Hate. Imran sets out the relationship between disinformation and hate speech, picks apart why the financial architecture of fake news could be its achilles heel and leaves major social media companies nowhere to hide when it comes to calling out bad behaviour.
  • 6. Polls apart

    How do we get better at agreeing to disagree? Jonathan talks to Alison Goldsworthy, Founder and CEO at The Depolarisation Project hosted at Stanford University to talk about what's driving polarisation in society and what we can do about. Taking a breather from in-depth analysis of disinformation they cover business case for polarisation, the role of fundraising and campaign professionals in contributing to the problem and Jonathan gets called out for mocking a well known politician.....
  • 5. True or False

    What can a former CIA analyst teach us about misinformation? Find out in this week's episode with Cindy Otis who spent ten years working for the US Government's Central Intelligence Agency. Jonathan and Cindy discuss her new book 'True or False' and explore the history of disinformation, asking why it's often been used to harden racist sentiment and drive marginalisation. As well as looking at the past they also discuss the present and the possibility of hidden dimensions to modern protests and how to get under the skin of disinformation networks.
  • 4. Bot or Not?

    This week Jonathan talks to Professor Samuel Woolley, author of The Reality Game, about the use of bots to plant and spread disinformation on social media platforms. The conversation covers how many bots there are online, how to spot them, the use of geolocation data and the current strategies of modern political communicators.
  • 3. First Draft

    This week we talk to Dr Claire Wardle who is the co-founder of First Draft, an NGO committed to tackling misinformation. The conversation covers the difference between misinformation and disinformation, the weaponisation of context and why conspiracy theories are keeping Claire awake at night.