Event Partner:  

Best Practices in Combatting Disinformation In the Public and Private Sector: 2023


Day One: Tuesday, March 7, 2023

10:15 EST

45 min
Greg Vanier Dave Fleet

Impact Of Misinformation And Disinformation On Trust - Private And Public Sector Implications

Greg Vanier, Head of Crisis & Reputation Risk, Edelman Canada

Dave Fleet, Managing Director, Head of Global Digital Crisis, Edelman

This session will provide important information on:

  • How Canadians’ levels of trust have changed with the onslaught of misinformation and disinformation
  • How trust is measured
  • The impact of eroding trust in the public and private sector
  • The critical importance of maintaining trust in the current environment
  • Lessons learned from the fight against covid and election “mis” and “dis” information
  • Impact on the private sector
  • Developing an effective strategy

11:00 EST

45 min
John Kelly

Unlocking The Power Of Network Intelligence - Mapping Disinformation Dissemination

John Kelly, Founder and CEO, Graphika (New York)

Learn how experts map and analyze the complex fabric of social network structures to gain an understanding of how information and influence move through networks.

Find out how communities form online and how influence and information flow within large scale networks.

Topics covered will include:

  • Disinformation detection
  • Early warnings and analysis of online disinformation
  • Determining if you are dealing with a grassroots boycott
  • Is the behaviour coordinated?
  • Is a foreign entity behind it?
  • Is the information reaching customers?
  • Identifying bots and coordinated campaigns
  • Distinguishing fake vs real audience
  • Identifying viral trends before they happen
  • Curb the fallout from fake news

11:45 EST

45 min
Welton Chang
Case Studies

Alternative Social Media Campaigns Targeting Companies

Welton Chang, Co-founder & CEO, Pyrra Technologies Inc. (Washington D.C.)

  • The growth of alternative social media as a result of policy and enforcement efforts by major platforms like Meta/Twitter
  • Understanding the landscape of threats that emanate from these platforms and the nexus between virtual and physical threats
  • Recent campaigns that have started or gained traction on these platforms (trucker occupation of Ottawa, monkeypox, Boston Children’s Hospital)
  • Case studies of campaigns that have recently targeted companies (e.g., Wayfair)

12:30 EST

60 min


13:30 EST

45 min
Melanie Smith

Tactics Of Malicious Actors – Anatomy Of A Disinformation Attack

Melanie Smith, Head of Research, Digital Analysis Unit, Institute of Strategic Dialogue (Washington, D.C.)

From the geopolitical motivations of Nation-States to cyber criminals pursuing profit and hacktivists and terrorists pursuing ideological violence, the variation in motivation and sophistication of threat actors means you are up against a wide and bewildering range of sophisticated techniques and tactics. This session will cover:

  • Stages of a disinformation campaign
  • New techniques and tactics aimed at the private sector, the public sector and government
  • Online foreign influence campaigns
  • How threat actors promote their message
  • Impact of disinformation

14:15 EST

45 min
Erin McAweeney

Lessons Learned From COVID Mapping - Taking a Step Back to Prepare for the Future

Erin McAweeney, Director of Analysis, Graphika (Washington, D.C.)

  • Lessons learned from analyzing two years of COVID networks
    • The evolution of actors, communities, and narratives
    • How fringe communities and ideas mainstreamed
    • Cultural bridging and the spread of QAnon during the pandemic
  • Conspiracies that fueled offline movements, including the global convoys
  • How foreign actors exploited rifts in scientific consensus
  • Monkeypox, the lasting effects of COVID misinformation on public health communication
  • Preparing for the next ‘infodemic’

15:00 EST

15 min


16:00 EST

45 min
Preston Golson Matthew F. Ferraro Daria Azariev North

Developing Your Disinformation PlayBook

Preston Golson, Director, Brunswick Group

Jesse Rutledge, Vice President for External Affairs, National Center for State Courts (NCSC)

Matthew F. Ferraro, Counsel, WilmerHale

Daria Azariev North, Program Manager, Europe and Eurasia, International Foundation for Electoral Systems

A general crisis management plan is not sufficient. If you don’t have a specific Disinformation Action Plan spelling out the steps you have to take before, during and after a disinformation attack you are more vulnerable than you should be. This session will allow  you to  draft a plan that will render you  as prepared as you can be to prevent, weather and respond to an attack.

  • Addressing misinformation on a large scale
  • Dealing with unfounded accusations
  • What is the appropriate response?
  • Need for brands to stay ahead of an issue, communicate with the parties, advisory groups, government and anyone interacting with the media
  • Developing a disinformation plan

16:45 EST

End of Day One

Day Two: Wednesday, March 8, 2023

10:15 EST

45 min
Dan Brahmy

Protecting Your Brand From the Impact of Disinformation and Misinformation

Dan Brahmy, Co-founder and CEO, Cyabra (Tel Aviv)

  • Establishing that bad/fake actors play a major part in our everyday life
  • The breakdown of what the makeup of a fake account/actors are
  • What does inauthentic activity look like on multiple social media platforms?
  • Examples of Cyabra’s research and reporting
  • How brands, governments and individuals can be better prepared when Disinformation campaigns are spread about them

11:00 EST

60 min
Jake McLeod Jennifer van der Valk

Best Practices In Protecting Organizations From Disinformation: Preparing, Responding And Recovering From Disinformation Challenges

Jake McLeod, Head, UK Digital Crisis, Edelman (London)

Jennifer van der Valk, VP Communications & Public Affairs, Toronto Region Board of Trade

  • Set up a viable counter strategy to manage and minimize the impact of misinformation campaigns
  • Assess reputational vulnerabilities
  • Strategies for stopping an attack before it happens
  • Strategies for responding to an attack
  • Working with platform safety teams
  • The Incident Response Plan
    • What should the plan include?
    • Who is responsible for what?
    • Integrating disinformation scenarios in your crisis preparation and table top exercises
    • Educate internal stakeholders
  • Develop an internal policy on managing disinformation
  • Stay vigilant – what to watch for

12:00 EST

60 min


13:00 EST

45 min
Jack Stubbs

AI and Influence Operations: The Erosion of Trust

Jack Stubbs, VP Intelligence, Graphika (U.K.)

  • The evolution of AI technology in influence operations
  • The ABCs of online campaigns and how to understand them
  • How AI technologies are being deployed by IO actors in the wild
  • What this means and why it matters

13:45 EST

45 min
Brian Murphy

Providing Actionable Intelligence in the War Against Disinformation

Brian Murphy, Vice President of Strategic Operations, Logically; Former Acting Under Secretary for Intelligence, Department of Homeland Security (Washington, D.C.-Baltimore area)

  • State of the art information on bringing actionable intelligence to the fore
  • Bringing actionable intelligence to election officials, local governments, the business community and policy makers – how, where, when?
  • Working with governments around the globe, including federal and state agencies in the US, to combat misinformation and disinformation using a combination of artificial intelligence and human expertise
  • Where have we been? Where are we going?

14:30 EST

15 min


15:30 EST

45 min
Richard​​ ​​Leblanc

Role Of The Board In Overseeing Disinformation Risk From Within And Outside The Organization

Richard​​ ​​Leblanc, Professor of Governance, Law​​ ​​&​​ ​​Ethics, York​​ ​​University

  • Has your board considered the impact disinformation could have on your organization?
  • What is the board’s responsibility for monitoring, advance planning and response to disinformation attacks and misinformation
  • Crisis scenario planning on disinformation
  • Standard of care
  • Board and officer liability
  • Section 230 Communications Decency Act
  • Responsibility for ESG naysayers within and outside the organization
  • Responsibility for workplace wellness
  • Threats to workplace wellness including indoctrination, radicalization as a result of over-reliance of home based employees on social media
  • Sectors most affected

16:15 EST

45 min
Andy Carvin

More on the Threat Landscape: Influence Operations & What You Need to Know About “Disinformation as a Service” (DaaS)

Andy Carvin, Managing Editor and DFRLab Senior Fellow, Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab), Atlantic Council

Private firms will coordinate the spread of disinformation online for clients for a fee. They publish fake news articles, operate questionable websites on social media platforms and run phony social media accounts en masse to engage with the false content they are promoting. They offer customers, who can be corporate or state actors, deniability and hide as genuine online and social media marketing agencies. Customers can claim they were unaware of any malicious activity that was taking place.

  • Why it is easy for foreign actors to incorporate influence operations into their foreign relations policies
  • Targeting hyper specific audiences with tailored messages
  • Cases and examples of DaaS at work
  • The threat to the public sector
  • Threat to the private sector
  • Reaction of platforms

17:00 EST

End of Day Two