The “Digital Peace Summit” Plus Many New Projects In 2024

Since 2019, I’ve spearheaded numerous information integrity initiatives. My leadership roles has span a broad spectrum, including directing a fact-checking program for Tunisian elections, organizing and leading a major citizen debate on internet governance, and generating impactful academic symposia on the reliability of social media information. Additionally, I’ve contributed to the development of some user-focused online safety standards at the World Economic Forum and managed research grants throughout the WikiCredibility research grants. Throughout this journey, I’ve collaborated with hundreds of innovative organizations and individuals dedicated to these fields of study and industry.

Here is a full list of all of the work that I have executed and led:

So, what are the new projects?

New Convenings and Summits

Working towards building peace online and social cohesion through equitable content moderation practices and platform ‘fairness’
As a convener, synthesizer of ideas and coalition builder, I’ve long avoided sharing my views on the critical issue of how social platforms algorithmically amplify disinformation and its profound impact on personal relationships, social harmony, and global peace. However, around mid-2022, it became undeniably evident to me that efforts to combat misinformation and disinformation online must prioritize the development of innovative thoughts, design principles, and technological interventions that encourage the convergence of ideas rather than the exclusion of individuals or perspectives.

In 2024, I will reexamine concepts I’ve promoted, like empathy, media literacy, and tailoring scientific and online content for varied audiences to foster social harmony, mitigate online disaccord, and unite individuals. Leading this innovative field are groups such as the Council on Technology and Social Cohesion‘s consortium, New Public (Civic Signals), the Center for Humane Technology, and a burgeoning collective of academic institutions and professional networks.

Platform ‘fairness’
Building on this, a new field of expertise known as ‘platform fairness’ is rapidly evolving. This mesh of different skills and areas of expertise encompasses site integrity, addressing algorithmic bias, and champions openness and transparency. It also focuses on user privacy protection, strengthening user rights through appeal processes, ensuring fair content moderation, and promoting equitable content monetization among many other disciplines. The aim is to foster social and tech platforms that are transparent, fair, and respectful of their diverse user communities.

In 2024, my upcoming convening projects will spotlight the intersection of platform fairness, cutting-edge technology, and strategies to foster peace and social cohesion across various fields.

Hackathons: AI Red-Teaming ‘Sprints’

In 2023, I led the Misinformation Village events and also engaged in multiple AI red-teaming projects. My focus in these areas zeroes in on the propensity for bias and error:

Red-teaming exercises, hackathons, and ‘sprints’ are on the rise. Their purpose is to harness collective intelligence and output to create new insights that strengthen the AI models widely used in the marketplace. Throughout 2024, in partnerships with other partners, I aim to organize several AI-red teaming sprints with the following objectives:

  • Content Moderation AI: Designing bots and classifiers to provide context to news or digital content. This includes labelling, adding warning screens, flagging, or curating content, as well as enhancing the efforts of fact-checkers and their networks.
  • Political ‘reasoning’ and persuasion: Uncovering weaknesses of existing LLM’s or effectively innoculate chatbots from producing text or political arguments that produce political propaganda, hyper-targeted political arguments for specific voter groups
  • Editorial bots and LLM’s: Designing editorial bots that produce credible and factual information, detect misinformation but also evaluate weaknesses in the quality of output and information

Research: New Standards for Moderating Archived News and Conflict-Related Content

If selected, this will be the focus of my talk at TrustCon 2024.

In 2022, I was the Manager of Patron Services at the Internet Archive, a host of millions of digital media files that capture a significant breadth of human history including violent and terror-related content. Moderating terror-related content is complicated and must take into consideration the protection of digital rights such as privacy and the need for protecting users from violative or gore content.

Specifically, my approach to this subject is as follows:

  • Content Authenticity Credentials: Implementing a system that ensures each piece of content from conflict zones is accompanied by verifiable metadata that certifies its origin, context, and veracity, similar to a “digital nutrition label” for content.
  • Ethical Guidelines for Citizen War Reporters: Establishing universal, ethical reporting guidelines that citizen journalists can follow to ensure the integrity and trustworthiness of the content they post online.
  • Universal Curation Standards for Conflict Content: Advocating for the selective preservation of content that aligns with historical and ethical dimensions, which includes developing a comprehensive understanding rather than just data collection.
  • Transparent Curation Frameworks: Encouraging more universal adoption of detailed curation methodologies, like the one used by the Syrian Archive, across different platforms and institutions.
  • Multistakeholder Approaches to Content Moderation: Creating new public forums for multistakeholder-informed approaches that ensure digital platforms balance fact, equity, and reconciliation while moderating content.
  • Equitable Policy Crafting: Developing policies that balance content visibility with digital safety, authenticity, and consent, ensuring that historical truth is preserved for future scrutiny and justice.
  • The Summit For “Digital Peace“: Organizing a series of summits to bring together various stakeholders, including digital rights organizations, tech platforms, and institutional funders, to discuss and shape the future of content moderation.

Read more: The Persistent Dilemma of Content Moderation in Conflict Reporting

‘Experiential’ learning

Finally, there is this new notion of experiential learning that I have become attracted to. Experiential learning is the learning or teaching of the “here” and “now,” an “all-hands” on deck educational approach where knowledge is gained through a direct experience such as seeing, witnessing, contributing, and hacking. Experiential learning prioritizes critical thinking and problem-solving which is the right approach to a wicked problem such as disinformation. This approach not only enhances personal and social development but also cultivates spaces conducive to nurturing leadership and character.

The Role of Arts and Content: As an avid fan of modern arts and even more avid creator content consumer, there is no doubt that art and literature have been major movers in engaging with challenging discussions on political beliefs and social attitudes toward governance, rights, equality, and other pressing topics. There wouldn’t be the Age of Enlightenment as we know it today without arts and literature and new forms of expression. My forthcoming work will significantly involve bringing together content creators, artists, curators and producers to all the spaces I will continue to create and engage with.

If you would like to partner with me towards the three-part blowout of the “Digital Peace Summit” and other activities including AI Red-Teaming Sprints and other conference production projects, reach out to me at info@axm.events or via my Contact Page.

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