Renée DiResta: Information Warfare

Renée DiResta: Information Warfare

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My guest today is Renée DiResta, who spends her time investigating the spread of malign narratives across social networks. She has advised Congress, the State Department, and policymakers in understanding and responding to the problem of misinformation. In this episode, we talk about the history of misinformation and propaganda. We go back to the roots of media theory and explore the ideas of people like Edward Bernays, Walter Lippmann, and Marshall McLuhan. I found Renée through an excellent essay called The Digital Maginot Line, which we discuss at the end of today’s podcast. I hope you enjoy this episode.

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renee

LINKS:

Find Renée online:

Other links:

SHOW NOTES:

1:24 Earliest promises of the internet, curation of content by platforms, how to think about consensus-based truth and how the internet has changed that

11:50 How the minority can influence policy, why 100% consensus is not a good idea, and the divide of the media diet

22:50 Renee’s work on the investment about Russian disinformation campaign in 2016, how nefarious actors build distribution into the content, and why Renee likes reading AP and local news

30:22 Meme candidates and meme policy, pseudo-events, and cognitive DDOS

40:01 Claude Shannon and Signal vs. Noise, the necessity of algorithmic feeds, and the implications of the battle for attention 

49:08 Monopolies in the era of free to use platforms, collective action on consensus solutions, and the era of professional polling in politics 

1:02:04 Sensational petitions, amplifying extremist policies vs. creating propaganda from scratch, and the most jaw-dropping moments for Renee

1:15:30 Radicalization on YouTube, Renee’s work with the Obama administration, and the conflict between capabilities and responsibilities

1:24:05 The Digital Maginot Line and frameworks of understanding Information Theory

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