Join David Nemer, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Media Studies and Anthropology, for a lecture and Q&A on his current research examining the problem of online misinformation for democracies worldwide, particularly in countries in the Global South where democratic institutions remain in a beleaguered state. Nemer is an ethnographer with fieldwork experience in Havana, Cuba, Guadalajara, Mexico, the favelas of Vitória, Brazil, and in the Appalachian region of eastern Kentucky. He is the author of Technology of the Oppressed: Inequity and the Digital Mundane in Favelas of Brazil(Forthcoming, MIT Press) and Favela Digital: The Other Side of Technology (2013, GSA). Nemer has also written for The Guardian, El País, The Huffington Post (HuffPost), Salon, and The Intercept.
While most research and conversation about misinformation has focused on online platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, little is known about the spread of misinformation on mobile messaging apps, such as Telegrams and WhatsApp. These apps are particularly popular in Global South countries due to the quick spread and adoption of mobile phones in the region. His research aims to expand our understanding of the motivations and infrastructures behind the creation, sharing, and consumption of misinformation on messaging apps, and to build awareness and interventions to circumvent their effects.