American University Experts Available to Discuss Misinformation’s Impacts

What: As misinformation continues to spread and proliferate online impacting our daily lives, the topics and issues affected range from vaccines, COVID, conspiracy theories, and the 2020 election.  American University scholars are available to share their insights on a broad range of issues related to misinformation, including its impact on our society, the ways it spreads in social media, and its impact on politics.

When: September 16, 2021 – Ongoing

Experts Available:

Kurt Braddock is an Assistant Professor of Public Communication in the School of Communication and Senior Methodologist at AU’s Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab (PERIL) . He researches extremist groups to explore how their persuasive messages can influence American citizens and their behavior and particularly how it contributes to the threat of violence. He also is an expert on the communication strategies used by violent extremist groups to recruit and radicalize audiences targeted by their propaganda. He also holds a faculty fellow position at the Center for Media and Social Impact (CMSI). His first book, titled Weaponized Words: The Strategic Role of Persuasion in Violent Radicalization and Counter-Radicalization (Cambridge University Press, 2020), provides examples of how terrorist groups persuade audiences to adopt their ideologies, and how this process can be fought.

Brian Hughes is the co-founder and Associate Director of American University’s Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab (PERIL) and a Research Assistant Professor in the School of Public Affairs. His work focuses on developing evidence-based interventions to radicalization, extremism, polarization, and disinformation. He is frequently interviewed by local, national and international media outlets, including The Washington Post, NPR, Al Jazeera English, etc.

Saif Shahin is an assistant professor in the School of Communication. His research focuses on critical data studies, social media studies, and global media and politics, and is underpinned by a normative commitment to social justice. He also teaches classes on media, technology and democracy and digital media and culture. He can comment on the impacts of digital media and misinformation.

Aram Sinnreich is a professor and chair of the Communication Studies division at American University’s School of Communication. His work focuses on the intersection of culture, law and technology, with an emphasis on subjects such as emerging media and music. His latest research explores lexical patterns can serve as lie detectors to supplement fact checkers on social media.

Kesa White is a Research Associate at American University’s Polarization and Extremism Research Innovation Lab (PERIL). Her work focuses on white supremacy, extremism in online spaces, and de-radicalization with a focus on homeland security. Kesa is a member of the Associate Board for the Anti-Defamation League. She is a policy and practitioner fellow with the Centre for the Analysis on the Radical Right (CARR), and she serves as an academic insight writer for the Global Network on Extremism and Technology (GNET). She is available to discuss topics related to far-right extremism, radicalization, political violence, conspiracies, and cults.

Joe Young, professor in the School of International Service and the School of Public Affairs, is an expert in cross-national causes and consequences of political violence and extremism and can discuss threat of domestic extremism, and domestic surveillance and homeland security. He is available for print, online and radio interviews.

Contact: AU Communications, at 202-486-7956 or via e-mail at [email protected]  

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