DISINFORMATION AND ELECTIONS IN EAST AND SOUTHEAST ASIA: DIGITAL FUTURES AND FRAGILE DEMOCRACIES
WEATHERHEAD EAST ASIAN INSTITUTE
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY - 70th ANNIVERSARY SERIES
New York City October 3-4, 2019
Co-sponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, the Columbia Journalism School, and the New York Southeast Asia Network
- Sheila Coronel, Columbia Journalism School
- Duncan McCargo, Department of Political Science, Columbia University
- Jonathan Corpus Ong, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
- Margaret Scott, New York University
A recent series of elections in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and indeed across Asia has highlighted the salience of digital media in political campaigns and insidious modes of electoral manipulation. This two-day workshop aims to gather evidence into the operations and impact of digital disinformation in the context of recent Asian elections. The conference approaches Asia as a site in which disinformation in various digital and analog forms have not only deep local histories but also radical acceleration and innovation the likes of which have little to no precedent in advanced liberal democracies in the West. Many Asian countries lead in both scale and intensity of technological adoption and use while serving as “laboratories” for testing and experimentation by Big Tech firms, with minimal oversight and accountability to the potentially grave consequences of algorithmic tweaks, the dispersed labor of content moderation, and new platform rollouts. Thus we seek to develop a framework that examines the social and political ramifications of this process beyond the region.
The two-day event aims for interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to thinking through issues of disinformation that draw from areas of sociology, politics, media and communication studies, journalism studies, critical legal studies, information science, and anthropology.
The format will consist of workshop sessions open to the public organized around four main themes:
1) Elections and Disinformation
2) Winning the Digital War: The Transformation of Political Campaigns
3) Digital Populisms and Constructions of 'the Other'
4)Confronting Facebook: Platform Regulation, Information Control, and Local Interventions.
In addition, the event will include an open, public evening session to which members of the New York and national journalism and policy communities will be invited.