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May 17 2021

FAD Research Seminar Series (N&MRC): "‘Thank you for sharing’: Overcoming Disinformation through Democratic Deliberation" - Dr Nicole Curato

Please join us for a FAD Research Seminar Series hosted by the N&MRCDate: Monday 17 May 2021Time: 1:30pm-2:30pmLocation: 1A21 & ZoomPresenter Dr Nicole Curato Title ‘Thank you for sharing’: Overcoming Disinformation through Democratic Deliberation Abstract There is a dynamic global community of stakeholders working towards addressing the challenges posed by disinformation, especially during elections. Journalists have launched fact check initiatives. Donors continue to invest in media literacy programmes. Tech platforms like Facebook and Twitter are strengthening their content moderation practices.  These initiatives, while valuable, overlook the voices of ordinary citizens. How do citizens characterise the problem of ‘fake news’ during elections? Do they find disinformation a serious challenge to electoral integrity? Does disinformation offer a greater threat than the longstanding issues of electoral fraud, disenfranchisement, and threats of violence? What can we learn from the collective wisdom of ordinary citizens? To answer these questions, our research team conducted a three-day deliberative forum on disinformation in the Philippines – a country that Facebook considered to be the ‘patient zero’ of the global disinformation epidemic. Twenty-six randomly selected Filipinos from all over the country came together to learn about disinformation.  They deliberated on the dangers created by the spread of ‘fake news,’ answering questions of who should be held accountable for the production of disinformation and who should safeguard social media from its harms. Participants were then asked to generate collective recommendations for stakeholders leading campaigns against disinformation.  Findings of the study reveal that ordinary citizens view disinformation as closely linked to structural issues of the role of money in politics and the precarity of economic labour in a middle-income country’s gig economy.  The presentation concludes by making a call to shift the centre of gravity in scholarship of disinformation. Disinformation studies remain largely shaped by the experiences of the Global North even though many of the disinformation innovations (as well as their remedies) are unfolding in the Global South. The presentation seeks to present an alternative account of disinformation grounded on the lived experiences of disinformation producers and ordinary citizens in disinformation ‘hotspots’ around the world.  Biography Nicole Curato is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. Her work examines how democracy can take root in communities recovering from the trauma of disasters, armed conflict, and urban crime. She is the author of the prize-winning Democracy in a Time of Misery: From Spectacular Tragedy to Deliberative Action (2019, Oxford University Press) and the editor of the Journal of Deliberative Democracy.  

13:30 - 14:30
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