June 26

Understanding the Problem

8:00 am Registration

8:00 am Breakfast available (optional) 

9:00 am Welcome

Francis Fukuyama, Mosbacher Director, CDDRL, Stanford University
Amb. Michael McFaul, Director & Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University / former U.S. Ambassador to Russia


9:10 am Moderated Discussion: Framing the Issue and the Global State of Play

While the focus on digital disinformation has grown exponentially in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, this increased attention has perhaps also contributed to an overly narrow, domestic understanding of the issue. The challenge of digital disinformation is a global one, and some of the techniques that have first been used by authoritarian governments to interfere in elections in other countries have now been adopted by domestic political actors. At the same time, there is a growing body of international expertise on approaches to reduce vulnerability to disinformation and to increase information integrity in particular political contexts. This introductory panel will provide an opportunity to frame the day’s discussion.

Moderator: Alina Polyakova, Director of Research, Atlantic Council

Scott Hubli, Director of Governance Programs, National Democratic Institute
Janis Sarts, Director, NATO StratComm Center of Excellence
Claire Wardle, Research Director, First Draft News


9:50 am Coffee Break


10:10 am Presentation Panel: Protecting Information Integrity in Online Democratic Discourse

The decline of traditional media relative to social media and rise of artificial intelligence present challenges to ensuring informed online political debate. Established rules and distinctions are eroding between insiders and outsiders, earned media and advertising, media and non-media, legacy media and new media, news and entertainment, and even foreign and domestic sources of campaign communication. The session's three 10-minute talks will explore the implications of these trends on the future of online democratic discourse.

Moderator: Kelly Born, Program Officer, Hewlett Foundation 

Jonathan Albright, Research Director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia University
Daniel Milo, Head of Stratcom Programme, GLOBSEC Policy Institute
Julian Reichelt, Chief Editor, Bild Media
Jen Weedon, Manager, Information Security, Facebook


11:10 am Lightning Talk: Information Integrity in China

Sandra Fu, Editor, China Digital Times


11:20 am Coffee Break


11:40 am Moderated Discussion: Lessons Learned from Combating Russian Disinformation

Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort, when compared to previous operations by Moscow to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order. Many of the techniques deployed, however, were refined and tested in what Russia describes as its near abroad over many years. What lessons can be drawn from the experience of these countries in combatting Russian disinformation?

Moderator: Laura Jewett, Director of Eurasia Programs, National Democratic Institute

Margo Gontar, Co-Founder, StopFake
Peter Pomerantsev, Visiting Senior Fellow, Institute of Global Affairs, London School of Economics
Boris Reitschuster, Journalist, Author and Russia expert


12:40 pm Lunch


1:30 pm Lightning Talk Series + Q&A: Case Studies on Computational Propaganda and the Manipulation of Public Opinion Worldwide

Political bots are increasingly being used to manipulate public opinion through social media. With the rise of artificial intelligence and computational propaganda, this challenge is becoming increasingly serious to information integrity in elections. The session will explore the most recently understanding of how botnets are being used to manipulate public opinion and skew electoral contests in countries including in Mexico, Turkey and beyond. This session will include four 10-minute talks followed by a group Q&A session.

Moderator: Sarah Oh, Visiting Scholar, The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society and the Banatao Institute at the University of California 

Jonathon Morgan, CEO, New Knowledge
Saiph Savage, Director, Human Computer Interaction Laboratory, West Virginia University; Adjunct Professor, National Autonomous University of Mexico
Onur Varol, Observatory on Social Media, Indiana University
Samuel Woolley, Director of Research, Computational Propaganda Project, Oxford Internet Institute 


2:30 pm Moderated Discussion: Media Efforts to Build Resilience to Disinformation  

How can political leaders and institutions better collaborate with media organizations and content publishers in their countries to curb disinformation and support media literacy? Leaders of recently-established efforts seeking to promote collaboration between the tech industry and international publishers will share insights into their approaches around building more resilient online media ecosystems globally and particularly in the developing world. 

Moderator: Mark Nelson, Director, Center for International Media Assistance

Steve Grove, Director, Google News Lab
Rasto Kuzel, Executive Director, MEMO 98
Raisa Wickrematunge, Co-Editor Groundviews, Centre for Policy Alternatives
Patience Zirima, Director, Media Monitors Zimbabwe


3:30 pm Coffee Break


3:45 pm Lightning Talk: How Disinformation Incites the Mob & Shapes Policy in the Philippines

Maria Ressa, CEO, Rappler


4:00 pm Moderated Discussion: Using New Technology to Combat Disinformation

With the rise of artificial intelligence and computational propaganda in disseminating disinformation, when is it appropriate to deploy machine-learning in response? What is effective? What other considerations should guide policy decisions and product development in responding to the increased use of bots and artificial intelligence in manipulating public opinion? 

Moderator: Alexandra Sander, Technology and National Security, Center for a New American Security

Tim Hwang, Co-Founder, Pacific Social
Jerry Kaplan, Adjunct Professor and Strategic Director, CDDRL, Stanford University
Daphne Keller, Director of Intermediary Liability at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society
Jakub Janda, Head of Kremlin Watch Program and Deputy Director at the European Values Think-Tank


5:00 pm Lightning Talk: How Wikimedia Addresses Truth and Verifiability

Katherine Maher, Executive Director, Wikimedia


5:15 pm Day One Closing Remarks

Amb. Eileen Donahoe, Executive Director, Stanford Global Digital Policy Incubator / former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council 


6:00 pm Dinner Reception in Palo Alto hosted by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

June 27

Response: Global Strategies and Collaboration

8:00 am Breakfast available (optional) 

9:00 am Welcome and Overview

Shari Bryan, Vice President, National Democratic Institute

9:10 am Remarks

Eric Swalwell, Member of U.S. Congress (CA-15) (by video) 

9:15 am Breakout Sessions

  • Working with the Tech Industry to Address the Disinformation Challenge

Mike Masnick, Founder, TechDirt / Copia Institute
Jerry Kaplan, Fellow, Stanford Center for Legal Informatics

  • Cybersecurity, Hacking and Disinformation Campaigns

John Scott-Railton
, Senior Researcher, Citizen Lab
Marty Colburn, Chief Information Officer, National Democratic Institute


10:15 am Coffee Break


10:30 am Breakout Sessions

  • Election Observation: What Standards Need to Apply to Disinformation?

Julia Brothers
, Senior Program Manager, Elections, National Democratic Institute
Margo Gontar, Co-Founder, StopFake
Rasto Kuzel, Executive Director, MEMO 98

  • Fake News or Free Speech? Freedom of Expression in the Disinformation Era

Doug Kramer, General Counsel, Cloudflare
Maiko Nakagaki, Center for International Private Enterprise
Daniel O’Maley, Associate Editor, Center for International Media Assistance


11:30 am Coffee Break


11:45 am Breakout Sessions

  • Building Technological Solutions to Counteract Disinformation Campaigns

Camille Francois, Principal Researcher, Jigsaw
Alexandra Sander, Technology and National Security, Center for a New American Security
Samuel Woolley, Director of Research, Oxford Internet Institute

  • The Gender Implications of Disinformation

Mona Lena Krook, Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University
Emily May, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Hollaback!
Sandra Pepera, Director for Gender, Women and Democracy, National Democratic Institute
Amalia Toledo, Project Coordinator, Karisma Foundation 


1:00 pm Keynote Lunch: The Challenge Ahead

Introduction: Amb. Michael McFaul, Director & Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University
Speaker: Svitlana Zalischuk, Member of the Parliament of Ukraine


2:30 pm Future Collaboration and Next Steps

Conference organizers will discuss future opportunities for participants and partners to collaborate in the sharing of best practices, the development of tools, and continued research into effectively combating disinformation.

Conference participants will announce new forthcoming initiatives. 

3:00 pm Conference End