Bellevue to host forum on ‘fake news,’ conspiracy theories, disinformation

  • Monday, March 26, 2018 12:17pm
  • News
Kate Starbird of the University of Washington’s Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering. Photo courtesy of city of Bellevue

Kate Starbird of the University of Washington’s Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering. Photo courtesy of city of Bellevue

In the age of social media, with so much information available, it can be tough to distinguish truth from fiction. In partnership with the Newport Way Library, the city of Bellevue will host a Neighborhoods Forum exploring “fake news,” conspiracy theories and disinformation.

The forum will feature Assistant Professor Kate Starbird of the University of Washington’s Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering. The program begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28 at City Hall, 450 110th Ave NE.

Professor Starbird will discuss how the emergence of “fake news” and conspiracy theories can reshape our understanding of national and local events. She will also explain how this complex problem, at the intersection of technology, human thinking and social behavior, makes us increasingly vulnerable to absorbing and spreading misinformation, regardless of one’s politics. A facilitated question-and-answer period will follow the presentation.

Starbird’s research focuses on human-computer interaction and the emerging field of crisis informatics – the study of how information-communication technologies are used. Recently, she has begun exploring the spread of disinformation through online spaces and what conspiracy theories during crisis events reveal about “fake news” and disinformation.

The forum is free and open to the public; recommended for age 13 and up. Child care is not available. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Julie Ellenhorn, 425-452-5372, jellenhorn@bellevuewa.gov.


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