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How Influencers and Algorithms Undermine Democracy — and How to Fight Back

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Renée DiResta’s new book is "Invisible Rulers: The People Who Turn Lies into Reality" (Bill Wadman)

“If you make it trend, you make it true,” argues online propaganda expert Renée DiResta. Her new book examines what she calls the “invisible rulers” of today — influencers, algorithms and crowds. While some influencers have made good on social media’s promises of media democratization, others saturate our feeds with propaganda, disinformation and rumors that cause IRL harm. These influencers’ motivations, DiResta argues, are rooted in profit as much as — if not more than — ideology. We’ll talk to DiResta about how content moderation, systems design and policy can prevent and blunt the reach of online propaganda — and how we can strive for consensus in a fractured society. Her new book is “Invisible Rulers: The People Who Turn Lies Into Reality.”


Renée DiResta, former technical research manager, Stanford Internet Observatory; author, “Invisible Rulers: The People Who Turn Lies Into Reality”


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