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Strengthening Democracy Learning Circle: The Misinformation Pandemic

Profile of Australian Communities Foundation
Hosted by Australian Communities Foundation
02 June 2020

Stopping the spread of misinformation

The World Health Organisation has called it an ‘infodemic’ that “spreads faster and more easily than the virus”. You might know it as ‘fake news’, ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation’.

Whichever is your preferred term, in Australia and around the world the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a proliferation of content online that aims to undermine the facts. There is typically a spike in misinformation in times of crisis, and in the lead up to political events such as state and federal elections.

Join us for the next Strengthening Democracy Learning Circle to gain a better understanding of the ‘Infodemic’ from leading researchers, and learn about the multitude of approaches being undertaken to better regulate and protect against misinformation online by civil society actors.

As well as representatives from Australian Media Literacy Alliance and Impact Fund Partners – Public Interest Journalism Initiative and Responsible Technology Australia – we will be joined by QUT Digital Media Research Centre Researchers Prof Axel Bruns, Dr Timothy Graham, and Prof Nicolas Suzor.


Tuesday 2 June 2020
11am – 12:30pm


This learning circle will be hosted on Zoom. To register, follow the ‘join the event’ link below and enter your details.

Please note that this virtual learning circle may be recorded. If you do not wish to appear on video, please ensure your video is disabled for the duration of the session.


Prof Axel Bruns is a Professor in the Digital Media Research Centre at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society. His books include Are Filter Bubbles Real? (2019) and Gatewatching and News Curation: Journalism, Social Media, and the Public Sphere (2018), and the edited collections Digitizing Democracy (2019), the Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics (2016), and Twitter and Society (2014). His current work focusses on the study of user participation in social media spaces, and its implications for our understanding of the contemporary public sphere, drawing especially on innovative new methods for analysing ‘big social data’. He served as President of the Association of Internet Researchers in 2017–19. His research blog is at, and he tweets at @snurb_dot_info.

Dr Timothy Graham is a Chief Investigator in the QUT Digital Media Research Centre and a Senior Lecturer in the QUT School of Communication, and was formerly a Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology and Computer Science at the Australian National University. His research combines computational methods with social theory to study online networks and platforms, with a particular interest in content production, ratings and rankings devices, and political bots. He is a Chief Investigator of an ARC Discovery Project that utilises large-scale hyperlink network analysis and web experiments to comparatively assess the web presence of 10 countries. He develops open source software tools for big data analysis, and has published in journals such as Information, Communication & Society, Information Polity, Big Data & Society, and Critical Social Policy.

Prof Nicolas Suzor researches the regulation of networked society. He is a Professor at the Law School at Queensland University of Technology, and one of the leaders of QUT’s Digital Media Research Centre. He is also a Chief Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society. His research examines the governance of the internet and social networks, the regulation of automated systems, digital copyright, and knowledge commons. He is the author of Lawless: the secret rules that govern our digital lives (Cambridge, 2019).

Image credit: Responsible Technology Australia

Disclosure: Eric Beecher, Chair of Australian Communities Foundation, is also on the Board of Public Interest Journalism Initiative.