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The IEEE Computer Society invites interested academics, policy experts, computing professionals, and civil society leaders to participate in an international event on Digital Platforms on Societal Harms which will take place in Washington DC on October 2nd and 3rd.

This novel event features invited international speakers with backgrounds in public policy, government, artificial intelligence, and other computing technologies and will focus on solutions to the challenges of hate speech, extremism, exploitation, misinformation and disinformation on digital platforms. Our keynote panels can be attended in person or online (either live or via a recording at your convenience). 

Those participating in-person will have access to additional sessions and benefits including: 

  • The opportunity to share research / products / services / work in this space by providing a poster and / or software demos (NB: posters are for display only and will not be published).
  • Networking opportunities with others working in this space across disciplines and sectors.
  • Small group discussions to share thoughts on the panels and add expertise from the attendees to the discussion.
  • An introductory session to IEEE’s work in public policy and standards followed by workshops. to discuss potential new engagements in the public policy and standards space to tackle hate speech, extremism, exploitation, misinformation and disinformation.
  • A number of expert workshops addressing the event’s themes.
  • The event includes a dinner to facilitate further networking and discussion. 

This event has been heavily subsidized by the IEEE Computer Society and places for in-person attendance are limited, please register now to avoid disappointment and to benefit from the early bird discounts (public: $290; IEEE Members: $175; IEEE Students: $120). Early bird discounts are also currently available for online participation in the keynote panels (public: $64; IEEE Members: $52; IEEE Students: $28). 

Until September 15, universities wishing to have a class watch a keynote panel may purchase sets of 50 student tickets for a heavily reduced price of $800 (equivalent to $16 per ticket). 

Further details: https://tech-forum.computer.org/societal-harms-2023/ 


Hate Speech Panel

In October the IEEE Computer Society’s event Digital Platforms and Societal Harms will include a panel will be on tackling online hate speech.

Can’t come to DC? Register at a reduced price to attend just the panel online! You can watch live and participate in Q&A, or tune in at a time of your choosing during October to watch the recorded session. There are reduced rates for IEEE members and further reductions for IEEE Student Members.

Our panelists:

Yaël Eisenstat (USA) is a Vice President at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), where she heads the Center for Technology and Society. She leads ADL’s effort to hold tech companies accountable for the proliferation of hate, harassment and extremism on their platforms. Yaёl joined ADL in October 2022 after spending more than two decades as an intelligence officer, diplomat, and White House advisor. She previously spent six months as head of global elections integrity for political ads at Facebook.

David Matas is an international human rights lawyer. A graduate of the Universities of Manitoba, Princeton and Oxford, he has taught at the Universities of Manitoba and McGill. He is the author of twelve books on a variety of human rights subjects. He served as a member of the Canadian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly, a Co-Chair of the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism, and as a member of the Canadian Delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – IHRA. In 2007 David was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for his human rights work.

Dr. Joel Finkelstein is the co-founder and chief science officer of the Network Contagion Research Institute, which deploys machine learning tools to expose the growing tide of hate and extremism on social media. He is a graduate of Princeton University, where his doctoral work focused on the Psychology and Neuroscience of addiction and social behavior. He directs the Network Contagion Lab at Rutgers University—New Brunswick where he trains students in critical intelligence, social-cyber threat identification, and threat forecasting. His work on hate in social media has appeared in 60 minutes, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, NPR and other media outlets.

Dr. Rosalie Atie is Project Lead on the Australian Government-funded and Australian Human Rights Commission-led National Anti-Racism Framework. One of the priority actions in progressing the Framework involves work to address media standards and regulation with respect to online hate. Participants in the scoping process for a Framework called for governments to explore law and policy reforms that ensure anti-racism standards for the media industry are community-informed, enforced, and independently monitored, as well as establish adequate moderation and regulation mechanisms across platforms to better protect individuals and communities from racially based online hate.

Register now at: https://tech-forum.computer.org/societal-harms-2023/registernow/

Extremism Panel

The IEEE Computer Society’s Digital Platforms and Societal Harms event will feature an amazing panel on countering online extremism

Can’t come to DC? Register at a reduced price to attend just the panel online! You can watch live and participate in Q&A, or tune in at a time of your choosing during October to watch the recorded session. There are reduced rates for IEEE members and further reductions for IEEE Student Members.

Our panelists:

Nicholas Rasmussen is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security most senior official charged with coordinating counterterrorism-related activities. As DHS CT Coordinator, he reports to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. He is a national security professional with over 27 years in U.S. government service. He has held senior counterterrorism posts at the White House and in the U.S. Intelligence Community under three administrations, including as Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Counterterrorism at the National Security Council staff.

Vidhya Ramalingam is Founder and CEO of Moonshot, a company working to end online harms applying evidence, ethics and human rights. Following the 2011 attacks in Norway, Vidhya led the European Union’s first inter-governmental initiative on white supremacist terrorism and extremism, initiated by the Governments of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and the Netherlands, and launched by the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.  Moonshot works in partnerships with tech companies to respond to hate and violent extremism, pull individuals out of violent movements, and use of automated messaging to disrupt hate groups online.

Tom Thorley is the Director of Technology at the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) and delivers cross-platform technical solutions. He worked for over a decade at the British government’s signals intelligence agency, GCHQ, specializing in issues at the nexus of technology and human behavior. He has worked in the US Government, Military and Intelligence agencies to coordinate intergovernmental relationships, providing expert consultancy on cyber issues, disinformation, technology strategy and operational planning. Tom has built and operationalized Data Science teams to inform operations and discover threats, particularly in counter-terrorism.

Adam Hadley is the Founder and Executive Director of Tech Against Terrorism, a public-private partnership established as an initiative of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). Tech Against Terrorism was recognised by the UN Security Council for enabling the global tech sector to tackle terrorist use of the internet while respecting human rights. Adam has an academic background in combining approaches from computer science and counter-terrorism to analyse terrorist propaganda.

Register: https://tech-forum.computer.org/societal-harms-2023/registernow/

Misinformation / Disinformation Panel

The IEEE Computer Society’s Digital Platforms and Societal Harms event will feature an amazing panel on Misinformation and Disinformation.

Can’t come to DC? Register at a reduced price to attend just the panel online! You can watch live and participate in Q&A, or tune in at a time of your choosing during October to watch the recorded session. There are reduced rates for IEEE members and further reductions for IEEE Student Members.

Our panelists:

Kate Hannah is the Director and founder of The Disinformation Project Aotearoa, a research organisation which has studied misinformation and disinformation in Aotearoa New Zealand since February 2020. Hannah is a cultural historian of science and technology whose research explores information disorders and the impacts of racism, misogyny, and the far right on socio-political discourse. She is an experienced advisor to government, NGOs, civil society organisations and firms with a prime focus on evidence-informed decision-making. An expert in the analysis of disinformation and its impact in Aotearoa New Zealand, she regularly provides media commentary and speaks to organisations and the public about disinformation impacts. In 2021, she was one of the Te Pūnaha Matatini-led team who were awarded the Prime Minister’s Science Prize for work which supported New Zealand’s science-led Covid-19 response.

Arjun Narayan is Head of Trust and Safety at SmartNews based in Japan. He is a senior Industry leader with over two decades of experience in the online safety, digital sustainability, privacy, and security related domains. Arjun leads the Operations and Service Integrity group at Smart News, the team responsible for keeping the SmartNews platform safe, inclusive, and objective while maintaining high ethical standards. Arjun has previously worked at leading tech firms including GE, American Express, Google, and Tiktok. Arjun is also a start up mentor and advisor with special interest in media integrity and ethical AI.

Katharina Schueller is CEO at STAT-UP GmbH and a Member of the Board of the German Statistical Society. She is one of the leading experts in data and AI Literacy and ethics. She advises the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research on the “Digital Education Initiative” and the “Data Culture and Data Literacy Roadmap” and is a permanent member of the German Government’s Digital Summit. Katharina is also Working Group Chair of the IEEE P7015 Standard for Data & AI Literacy. In 2022, she led the development of the MOOC “Data-informed decision making in a pandemic” for the Federation of National European Statistical Societies, to support evidence-based decision making in politics. The course was presented at the Conference of European Statistical Stakeholders CESS in October 2022 in Rome and is nominated for the ISLP Best Cooperative Project Award in Statistical Literacy.

Register: https://tech-forum.computer.org/societal-harms-2023/registernow/

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