The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association.
During this episode, Dr. Emma Briant discusses computational propaganda and her ongoing efforts to illuminate the magnitude of the problem. She reviews the findings of her recent research and gives examples with current events.
Guest Bio: Dr. Emma L Briant is a scholar in political communication who researches contemporary propaganda and information warfare, its governance in an age of mass-surveillance and its implications for democracy, security, inequality and human rights. She is presently an Associate at the Centre for Financial Reporting & Accountability at University of Cambridge and a Fellow at Central European University Center for Media, Data and Society. Dr Briant has a particular research focus on the actors behind influence operations and analyzed the coordination and increasing impacts of the digitalization of defense propaganda for her recent book Propaganda and Counter-Terrorism: Strategies for Global Change (Manchester University Press, 2015). Dr Briant’s testimony was central in exposing Cambridge Analytica and its parent company SCL and continues to inform international inquiries and policymaking including the US Congress, UK Parliament, Canadian Parliament and European Parliament. She has advised politicians, NGO’s and Big Tech companies on threats posed by the opaque digital influence industry, disinformation and contemporary influence operations. Dr Briant’s first book was Bad News for Refugees, (Pluto Press, 2013, co-authored with Greg Philo and Pauline Donald), examined UK political and media discourse on migration prior to ‘Brexit’. She served as advisor for a film for ‘People You May Know’, a recent Emmy-nominated documentary on Amazon Prime and previously, as Senior Researcher for Oscar-shortlisted Netflix film ‘The Great Hack’. She is now finalizing her third book Propaganda Machine: Inside Cambridge Analytica and the Digital Influence Industry and working on a fourth the co-edited Routledge Handbook on the Influence Industry with Vian Bakir, Bangor University, UK. Dr Briant also contributes journalism and op-eds to major outlets and is owner of Maven of Persuasion LLC a consultancy that advises and trains on disinformation threats and ethics in influence.
About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain.
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