Big, If True Webinar Series

The BIG, If True webinar series is an ongoing conversation driven by the Technology and Social Change Research Project at the Shorenstein Center, inspired by the monumental societal and technical shifts happening as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinars focus on media manipulation, disinformation, and the future of democracy during a pandemic. They include researchers from the TaSC team and across Harvard Kennedy School, along side journalists and other topical experts.

Learn more about the Technology and Social Change Research Project>

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Past Events

Big, If True Webinar: Playing with Fireworks: The Aura of Illicit Data

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 - On this episode of BIG, If True, our host Joan Donovan, PhD talks about surveillance and the ethics of data collection in research and journalism with Shorenstein Center Fellow and Professor Chris Gilliard, Julia Angwin, Editor In Chief and Founder of The Markup, and Albert Fox Cahn, the Founder and Executive Director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (S.T.O.P.) at ...
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Big, If True Webinar: Deeper States: The Proliferation of Networked Conspiracies Online

Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - On this episode of BIG, If True, our host Joan Donovan, PhD is joined by NBC’s Brandy Zadrozny, a reporter on the disinformation beat whose strategic early reporting on Qanon during the pandemic was critical, The New Yorker’s David Rohde, author of In Deep: The FBI, the CIA, and the Truth about America’s “Deep State,” and Brian Friedberg, Senior Researcher in ...
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Big, If True Webinar: “What if we limited our sample to white people?” A conversation with Anna Wiener, Author of Uncanny Valley

Thursday, February 25, 2021 - How do technology platforms treat their employees and their users — and how do you write about it? On this episode of Big, If True, Dr. Chris Gilliard, Anna Wiener, and Joan Donovan, PhD discuss reporting on technology companies, their policies, and their practices. This webinar also covers privacy and product design while discussing Anna ...
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Big, If True Webinar: Amplified Hate and its Effects

On February 3rd, 2021, the Shorenstein Center hosted a Big, If True Webinar on community understandings of networked hate groups and conspiracies with guests Brandi Collins-Dexter, Molly Conger, Emily Gorcenski, Kathleen Belew, PhD, and Whitney Phillips, PhD, hosted by Joan Donovan, PhD. Our panelists discussed: how can journalists contextualize hate movements for a broader public without amplifying their agendas? How ...
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Big, If True Webinar: New Year, Fresh Threats

Friday, January 29, 2021 - In this episode of Big, If True, our host Joan Donovan, PhD asks: what can mis- and disinformation scholars learn from the security studies field? What happens when security threats are inflated by governments? And how do security scholars analyze and account for civil liberties against the rise of digital search tools and surveillance? The ...
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Big, If True Webinar: The Fight to Ban Facial Recognition Technology: Protest in the Era of Mass Surveillance

Friday, July 31, 2020 - On this episode of BIG, If True we delve into the formidable struggle against the deployment of facial recognition technology. In light of the recent wave of Black Lives Matter protests, there are distressing concerns that facial recognition software is being used to target and catalogue people engaging in protected speech and assembly. Given the ...
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Big, If True Webinar: Fighting a Two-Front War: Censorship and Disinformation in Southeast Asia

Friday, July 10, 2020 - This episode of BIG, If True reflects on the hybrid battles being waged by journalists, activists, and dissidents against censorship and disinformation in Southeast Asia. The discussion traces the genesis of the recent attacks on the freedom to expression, from the rise and fall of the Anti-Fake News Act in Malaysia to the conviction of ...
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Big, If True Webinar: Beyond Cyberspace: Security in a Networked World

Friday, June 12, 2020 - In this episode, BIG, If True welcomes Lodrina Cherne, a digital forensics expert and Instructor at the SANS Institute in conversation with Joseph Menn, an investigative reporter on Cybersecurity at Reuters and Josephine Wolff, PhD an assistant professor of cybersecurity policy at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. In this moment of ...
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Big, If True Webinar: Science is Politics by Other Means

Friday, May 29, 2020 - In this episode of BIG, If True we’ll discuss the politicization of science and technology, looking closely at controversies about preprints, scientific articles posted to archives before they have been peer reviewed. In recent months, preprints have become a prefered way to get new findings into the hands of other scientists quickly, allowing researchers around ...
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Big, If True Webinar: The Trouble with Science

Friday, May 15, 2020 - This week on BIG, If True our host Joan Donovan dives into the promises and perils of communicating science to public audiences. While trust in our politicians and the press has waned in recent years, trust in scientists has remained remarkably steady. However, as we chart out new uncertainties and complex facts and figures in ...
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