Digital Platforms and Societal Harms Tech Forum Reveals 2022 Interactive Program

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 1:20 PM EDT

Technology leaders, policymakers, civil society leaders, researchers, and concerned computing professionals join to collectively explore current and emerging challenges and responses to Hate Speech, Extremism, Exploitation, Misinformation, and Disinformation

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., Sept. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The program has been announced for the Digital Platforms and Societal Harms Tech Forum, taking place virtually over multiple events from 17 October to 4 November 2022. This IEEE Computer Society tech forum focuses on dangerous societal harms – Hate Speech, Extremism, Exploitation, Misinformation, and Disinformation – that are amplified by digital platforms such as social media, online games, and the metaverse. Attendees will hear about the latest approaches to these critical problems, including insights from experts developing technological solutions such as AI and machine learning, join Q&A sessions with the speakers, and participate in small group discussions on each topic.

Passes are complimentary for a limited time: https://tech-forum.computer.org

"This important event focuses on some of the most pressing issues affecting society," said Andre Oboler, IEEE Computer Society Vice President of Member & Geographic Activities and Online Hate Prevention Institute founding director and CEO. "We will once again bring together technology professionals, lawmakers, public policy professionals, and civil society representatives to discuss what solutions are technically possible with today's technology, what challenges will require new technical innovations, and where policy and regulatory changes may benefit from technical expertise to avoid unintended consequences. This free online global event will be of interest to everyone concerned about negative effects amplified by digital platforms and of particular interest to those working to address these harms either through technology, policy, law reform, or advocacy."

The fast-paced development of innovative computing technologies that constitute truly societal-scale digital platforms, and the equally large-scale impacts – good and bad – that those systems have on day-to-day life, are among the defining issues of our time. The IEEE Computer Society's Tech Forum on Digital Platforms and Societal Harms brings together policymakers and technologists to explore the intersection of current technical efforts with public policies, and the resulting impacts on society.

Program

Over three weeks the forum will cover three themes - Hate Speech, Extremism & Exploitation, and Disinformation & Misinformation - with plenary panels followed by small group discussions, as well as workshops, round tables, and related online events. The program includes the following scheduled activities:

Hate Speech, 17 October - 21 October

Plenary Panel on Hate Speech
The session will discuss hate speech on digital platforms, from social media to online gaming and the metaverse. Panelists will discuss the state-of-the-art efforts to tackle online hate, policy and technology challenges, and the latest information on regulations. Participants will then be divided into small groups for further discussion on the topic with each other and our speakers.

Virtual tours of the museum exhibition #FakeImages
The exhibition explores Nazi hate propaganda from World War II as well as contemporary examples of fake images. Mechanisms that have a major impact on contemporary ideas and on society are examined and visitors will discover how to break through common patterns of misleading information such as stereotypes, prejudice, racism, and deception.

Extremism & Exploitation, 24 October - 28 October

Plenary Panel on Extremism & Exploitation
The use of digital platforms to aid in violent extremism (terrorism) and child exploitation will be examined in our second panel. Experts will discuss the latest efforts to address these harms and the challenges that have arisen with the increased use of alternative and minimally moderated platforms. Participants will then be divided into small groups for further discussion on the topic with each other and our speakers.

Asia Pacific Regional Forum
A regional forum will bring together speakers from across Asia and the Pacific to discuss the themes of online hate speech, extremism, exploitation, misinformation, and disinformation in the local context.

Disinformation and Misinformation, 31 October - 4 November

Plenary Panel on Disinformation and Misinformation
Interference in elections, the spread of false information during the global pandemic, and conspiracy theories that can lead to hate and extremism: recent years have seen online disinformation and misinformation emerge as a serious threat to health, safety, and the rule of law. Leading experts will discuss the challenges in addressing these information threats. Participants will then be divided into small groups for further discussion on the topic with each other and our speakers.

Policy Workshop
IEEE public policy staff and volunteer leaders will hold a roundtable discussion that seeks to answer the questions of policymakers (where clear answers exist) and discuss different perspectives on public policy responses and potential responses to tackling online hate speech, extremism, exploitation, misinformation, and disinformation.

Keynote speakers

Attendees will hear discussions from some of the highest-profile names that cover the intersection of technology and key issues of societal harm. The current speaker lineup includes:

  • Anthony Housefather, Canadian Member of Parliament
  • Inbal Goldberger, VP of Trust & Safety at ActiveFence
  • Yuhong Liu, Associate Professor, Santa Clara University
  • Paul Giannasi, National Police Advisor for Hate Crime (UK)
  • Sean La Roque-Doherty, Secretary of the IEEE P7011 Working Group
  • Kate Hannah, Director, and Founder of the Disinformation Project
  • Chris Cooper, Executive Director at Reset Australia
  • Joe Mulhall, Head of Research at Hope not Hate
  • Forrest Shull, Carnegie Mellon University
  • David Grier, Associate Professor at Elliott School of International Affairs
  • Andre Oboler, CEO and Founder of the Online Hate Prevention Institute
  • Mike Hinchey, Professor at the University of Limerick

To stay informed of new speakers added to the lineup, browse the Speakers page. Visit the website for all event information including sponsorship opportunities.

Technology leaders, policymakers, researchers, and concerned computing professionals are joining to collectively explore current and emerging challenges and responses.

Register here for a complimentary pass; limited quantities are available now.

About the IEEE Computer Society

The IEEE Computer Society is the world's home for computer science, engineering, and technology. A global leader in providing access to computer science research, analysis, and information, the IEEE Computer Society offers a comprehensive array of unmatched products, services, and opportunities for individuals at all stages of their professional careers. Known as the premier organization that empowers the people who drive technology, the IEEE Computer Society offers international conferences, peer-reviewed publications, a unique digital library, and training programs. Visit computer.org for more information.

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