After two successful editions, the international MISDOOM symposium on misinformation in online media returns for a 3rd edition, this time co-hosted by the Oxford Internet Institute and the Universiteit Utrecht on 21-22 September 2021.

Online media have become a politically, economically, and organizationally critical infrastructure. Internet users all over the world can directly interact with each other and participate in political discussions. Through online media, journalists have access to enormous amounts of information and public sentiment that increasingly becomes part of their reporting. Politicians refine their positions and actions based on the (seemingly) public opinion, which they distil from online media. Companies allow product reviews by users to provide crowd-based quality assurance. Others use these channels to distribute their views.

The MISDOOM 2021 symposium brings together researchers from multiple disciplines, including communication science, computer science, computational social science, political communication, journalism and media studies, as well as practitioners in journalism and online media. The symposium has a strong multidisciplinary character, and aims to cater to the habits of different disciplines.

We are now delighted to introduce the first of our three keynote speakers, Nina Jankowicz, Disinformation Fellow at The Wilson Center in Washington, DC, and author of How to Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict (Bloomsbury/IBTauris).

Nina has advised Eastern European governments on strategic communication and how to counter Russian disinformation campaigns. Her book outlines the strategies that countries such as Ukraine, Georgia, and Estonia have used to protect their civil discourse and democracy in the face of Russian aggression. She describes how Western democracies can learn from these experiences to build their own resilience capabilities against digital foreign aggression.

Nina’s work at the Wilson Center has partly focussed on expanding knowledge and advocacy for the threat that gendered disinformation poses to women politicians, journalists, and activists. In Malign Creativity: How Gender, Sex, and Lies are Weaponized Against Women Online, the online abuse and disinformation international women politicians face is researched, defined, and typologised. Gendered disinformation is “a subset of online gendered abuse that uses false or misleading gender and sex-based narratives against women” which is “aimed at deterring women from participating in the public sphere”. The report outlines and visualises the nuanced tactics abusers use to avoid detection and continue to spread hate online.

At #MISDOOM2021, Nina will share her perspectives on the future of civil discourse in an age of disinformation, its effect on women, and how researchers can further collaborate with governments to implement solutions.

Look out for further updates in the coming weeks as we bring you further news about our line-up of fantastic speakers. If you would like to present your own work at MISDOOM 2021, please submit an abstract or academic paper by 24 May. Find out more about MISDOOM 2021.

We look forward to welcoming you to the MISDOOM symposium 2021.  See you online!

The MISDOOM2021 team