Speakers Announced for Mitigating Societal Harms in a Social Media World

Insights revealed from Facebook, Google, TikTok, the United Nations, and more
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LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 12 August 2021 – New speakers have been announced for Mitigating Societal Harms in a Social Media World, an IEEE Computer Society Tech Forum taking place virtually 21-22 September 2021. Panel discussions and interactive sessions will address contributors to societal harm that can be amplified by social media – Hate Speech, Terrorism/Radicalization/Exploitation, Misinformation, and Disinformation – and explore cutting-edge solutions built on promising technologies.

The tech forum bridges the gap between policy and tech by connecting the experts typically working independently towards common goals and solutions.  With a combination of panel discussions with Q&A sessions, followed by dedicated breakout sessions for networking and smaller group discussions, the forum provides a dynamic environment for connecting and sharing experts’ viewpoints on these critical problems. Free registration passes are available for a limited time.

“Too often, the technology experts have been in one forum and the policymakers in another. The IEEE Computer Society is reaching out internationally across government, industry, and civil society to bring all the pieces together,” said Andre Oboler, IEEE Computer Society Vice President of Member & Geographic Activities (MGA), IEEE Global Public Policy Committee vice chair, and Online Hate Prevention Institute founding director and CEO.  “This event will not solve the problems, but it will provide the latest knowledge, a deeper understanding of the issues, and a chance to catalyze future action on these significant challenges.”

Attendees will hear discussions from some of the highest-profile names that cover the intersection of technology and key issues of societal harms. The current speaker lineup includes:

David Callies, Facebook ThreatExchange – Callies is a software engineer at Facebook for 10 years. For the past two years, he has been working with the Cross-Industry Trust & Safety team, which maintains the ThreatExchange platform. Callies has worked on problems related to terrorism and child safety with both NGOs and Internet platforms.

Kathleen M. Carley, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Center for Informed Democracy and Social-cybersecurity – Carley, a professor at the School of Computer Science and Director of the CMU Center for Informed Democracy and Social-cybersecurity, does research that combines computer science, social science, and policy in areas such as organizational-design, social media, terrorism, disinformation, health-analytics, and hate-speech.  Her pioneering research, 400+ publications, helped define the social-cybersecurity and dynamic-network areas, generated new methods for characterizing social-media influence campaigns, and led to new technologies used worldwide.

George Cybenko, Dartmouth College – Dr. Cybenko has made key research contributions in signal processing, information security, and machine learning. He was the founding editor-in-chief of Computing in Science & Engineering, IEEE Security & Privacy, and IEEE Transactions on Computational Social Systems. A Fellow of the IEEE and of SIAM, he has served on the US Defense Science Board, US Air Force Science Advisory Board, and US Army Cyber Institute Advisory Committee.

Hany Farid, University of California, Berkeley – Farid is an American university professor who specializes in the analysis of digital images. He is dean and head of the UC Berkeley School of Information. In addition to teaching, writing, and conducting research, Farid acts as a consultant for nonprofits, government agencies, and news organizations. He is the author of the book Photo Forensics.

Emily Cashman Kirstein, Thorn – Cashman Kirstein works in Washington, DC, as the senior manager of government affairs at Thorn, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco that builds technology to defend children from sexual abuse. She worked in various positions for US Senator Jeanne Shaheen from 2010 to 2016, and worked as the trip director for Hillary Clinton’s general election campaign in New Hampshire in 2016.

Vinodkumar Prabhakaran, Google Research and Stanford University – Prabhakaran is a computational social scientist working at the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and society, with a special focus on natural language processing. He is currently a Senior Research Scientist at Google Research and holds a research affiliate position at the Stanford SPARQ institute.

Dr. Fernand de Varennes, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues – Dr. Fernand de Varennes has the mandate as United Nations’ independent expert to enhance the promotion and protection of the rights of national or ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities through responding to allegations of violations of their human rights, conducting country missions to assess the treatment of minorities, and preparing reports to clarify these rights such as in relation to hate speech in social and the prevention of ethnic conflicts. He is also Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria, Cheng Yu Tung Visiting Professor at the University of Hong Kong, and Adjunct Professor in Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway.

Tara Wadhwa, TikTok US – Wadhwa is the Policy Director for TikTok US, where she leads the development of policies and moderation strategies that aim to create a welcoming, supportive, and safe platform for +100 million US community members. Previously, she focused on developing policies to protect against hateful behavior and harassment for TikTok globally. Before joining TikTok, Tara spent a decade as a researcher and administrator at the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights where she focused on leveraging corporate commitment to enhance human rights protections in a variety of sectors, including technology.

To stay informed of new speakers added to the lineup, browse the Speakers page. Visit the website for all event information including sponsorship opportunities.

Passes are complimentary for a limited time – REGISTER TODAY.

About the IEEE Computer Society

The IEEE Computer Society is the world’s home for computer science, engineering, and technology. A global leader in providing access to computer science research, analysis, and information, the IEEE Computer Society offers a comprehensive array of unmatched products, services, and opportunities for individuals at all stages of their professional careers. Known as the premier organization that empowers the people who drive technology, the IEEE Computer Society offers international conferences, peer-reviewed publications, a unique digital library, and training programs. Visit computer.org for more information.