We are surrounded by information and news throughout the day, and we possess easy access to technology which allows that information to spread very quickly. Computers and the world of digital media have greatly accelerated the rate of information exchange and expanded how much is shared, but fundamentally, disinformation is a human problem. With all of this content out there, how can we be sure what is real or not? How can we trust that what we are reading is true?
The distribution of false or misleading information with the intent to deceive is a threat to security of the United States, as it challenges the functionality of our nation. Today, there is an increasing rise in the manipulation of information which leads to the spread of disinformation in a broad range of media including text, imagery, and video. The increased prevalence of disinformation and conspiracy theories in society poses a challenge to policymakers, institutions, scientits, and our nation's ability to respond to grand challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic. When public trust in institutions is low, countering disinformation with facts will often be unsuccessful.
At the 2020 AAAS annual meeting, the scientific session “Detecting, Combating, and Identifying Dis- and Mis-information” was a great success. Addressing the need for an interdisciplinary approach, the session sought to provide attendees with a clear understanding of the latest technologies which can be leveraged for the purpose of detecting deep fakes and revealing the truth. Building on that concept, the “Narratives, Tech, and Countering Disinformation” session on February 20, 2022 will explore the roles, stories, and narrative framing play in both propagating and countering disinformation. Fundamentally, the group will discuss how technical solutions must be coupled with socialifial interventions to effectively address the issue.
This session will bring together experts and thought leaders from computer science, social science, industry and government to discuss why some groups have proven so resistant to fact-based arguments and continue to adhere to probably false beliefs. Attendees will learn how they can contribute to this challenge by discerning true from false information and how to change the tide of the resistance to communicate accurate information.