Past Event

"Disinformation and Elections in East and Southeast Asia: Digital Futures and Fragile Democracies"

October 3, 2019 - October 4, 2019
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
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New York Southeast Asia Network and School of Journalism Event

Please join us for a Workshop co-organized by:

Sheila Coronel, Columbia Journalism School,

Columbia University

Duncan McCargo, Department of Political Science,

Columbia University

Jonathan Corpus Ong, Department of Communications

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Margaret Scott, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

New York University

A recent series of elections in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and indeed across Asia has highlighted the salience of digital media in political campaigns and insidious modes of electoral manipulation. This two-day workshop aims to gather evidence into the operations and impact of digital disinformation in the context of recent Asian elections.

The conference approaches Asia as a site in which disinformation in various digital and analog forms have not only deep local histories but also radical acceleration and innovation the likes of which have little to no precedent in advanced liberal democracies in the West. Many Asian countries lead in both scale and intensity of technological adoption and use while serving as “laboratories” for testing and experimentation by Big Tech firms, with minimal oversight and accountability to the potentially grave consequences of algorithmic tweaks, the dispersed labor of content moderation, and new platform rollouts. Thus we seek to develop a framework that examines the social and political ramifications of this process beyond the region.

The two-day event aims for interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to thinking through issues of disinformation that draw from areas of sociology, politics, media and communication studies, journalism studies, critical legal studies, information science, and anthropology.

This is a Weatherhead East Asian Institute 70th Anniversary event. Co-sponsored by the Columbia Journalism School and the New York Southeast Asia Network

Click here to download the event program as a PDF. Click here to download event poster as a PDF.  Please register here.

Cosponsored by: Weatherhead East Asian Institute



October 3

4 PM – 5:30PM. PLENARY PANEL – Asian Histories and Architectures of Political Disinformation. Sahana Udupa, Cherian George and Camille Francois. Moderated by Sheila Coronel.


October 4

9:30 AM. PANEL 1 – Digital Armies and Organized Violence. Ross Tapsell and Ihsan Ali-Fauzi. Moderated by Margaret Scott.

10.45 AM. PANEL 2 – State-Sponsored Propaganda and Its Digital Artilleries. Duncan McCargo, Mary McCoy and Chiaoning Su. Moderated by Jonathan Corpus Ong.

1 PM. PANEL 3 – Influencer Operations and Networked Disinformation. Indah S. Pratidina and Joshua Uyheng. Moderated by Duncan McCargo.

2.15 PM. PANEL 4 – Securing Election Integrity. Netina Tan, Jonathan Corpus Ong and Ross Tapsell. Moderated by Sheila Coronel.