Media advisory: Expert panel to explore fake news proliferation

ATTENTION: Reporters covering media, journalism, the tech industry, law and politics

WHAT: “Separating fact from fantasy: Is fake news undermining the truth?” The proliferation of fake news and what can be done about it comes under scrutiny by a multidisciplinary panel of experts assembled at UC Berkeley.

After a deluge of criticism and widespread expression of concern, Facebook announced steps to partially address the threat of never-ending information wars.

The incentives to spread misinformation, disinformation, lies, fantasies and propaganda include great financial and political gain. Do tech companies and news sites have the ability and/or the responsibility to contain a flood of inaccuracy? Can they do that without bias or censorship?

WHO: UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism Dean Edward Wasserman will moderate the discussion with the following panelists:

  • Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s vice president of news feed, manages the team responsible for delivering relevant content to the 1.8 billion people using Facebook, and has recently focused on addressing fake news on the platform.
  • Craig Newmark, a web pioneer, speaker and philanthropist who recently donated $1 million to the Poynter Institute to promote verification, fact-checking and accountability in journalism.
  • Laura Sydell, National Public Radio’s digital culture correspondent whose interview with the owner of Disinfomedia, a company with many faux news sites, aired in November.
  • Catherine Crump, professor and co-director of Berkeley Law’s Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic, who specializes in First and Fourth Amendment and media issues.
  • Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, UC Berkeley’s university librarian and a professor at the School of Information, whose scholarly work focuses on the economics of the Internet, online behavior, and digital information creation and distribution.

WHEN: 5:30-7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 19

WHERE: Banatao Auditorium at Sutardja Dai Hall on Hearst Avenue, on the north side of campus. A map is online.

DETAILS: Seating is limited to 150. Please register here in advance of the Jan. 19 event. For more information or updates, contact events coordinator Julie Hirano at the Graduate School of Journalism at (510) 642-3394 or juliehirano@berkeley.edu.

Event sponsors include UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, the University Library and the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.