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Big, If True Series On Tech & The Pandemic

Big, If True Webinar: Technologies of the Far-Right

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Date and time
Friday, May 01, 2020

Recently, Luke O’Brien, a reporter at HuffPost, covered the controversy surrounding Clearview AI, a company that has amassed a large database of images and social media data of private citizens. His reporting also illustrated how right-wing activism shaped the design of the technology and flouted platforms’ terms of service in pursuit of big data. Luke joins the Shorenstein Center's director of research, Joan Donovan, and Biella Coleman, an anthropologist of hackers, who has studied how technopolitics can influence law and change society. They talk about how the “alt-right” developed, how they spread their ideas and what responses are necessary to prevent this from reoccurring. ## EXTRA RESOURCES [Luke O'Brien's reporting on Clearview AI and far right extremism](https://www.huffpost.com/entry/clearview-ai-facial-recognition-alt-right_n_5e7d028bc5b6cb08a92a5c48?6p8) Whitney Phillips' book "[You Are Here: A Field Guide for Navigating Polluted Information](A Field Guide for Navigating Polluted Information) " Joan Donovan's [MIT Tech Review article](https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/04/30/1000881/covid-hoaxes-zombie-content-wayback-machine-disinformation/) on how covid conspiracy theorists are using tech to keep conspiracy theories alive. Image courtesy of Flickr

Gabriella (Biella) Coleman holds the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, she researches, writes, and teaches on computer hackers and digital activism.
Luke O'Brien covers political extremism and propaganda for HuffPost and is a contributing writer on the Highline team. He specializes in narrative and investigative features and has worked for POLITICO magazine, Deadspin, Wired News, an alt-weekly and a small-town daily. His freelance work has appeared in The Atlantic, Fortune, Rolling Stone, Fast Company, and Slate, among other publications.
Donovan leads the field in examining internet and technology studies, online extremism, disinformation and media manipulation. Donovan received her Ph.D in Philosophy from UC San Diego and is currently assistant Professor of Journalism & Emerging Media Studies at Boston University and founder of The Critical Internet Studies Institute, a non-profit that advocates for a public interest internet. Her latest book is MEME WARS: The Untold Story of the Online Battles Upending Democracy in America, with Emily Dreyfuss and Brian Friedberg.