Renee DiResta — Invisible Rulers: The People Who Turn Lies into Reality — at Conn Ave

Upcoming Event
Thursday, June 13, 2024 - 7:00pm

Renée DiResta's powerful original framing explains how public opinion is now shaped through a virtual rumor mill of niche propagandists. While they position themselves as trustworthy Davids, their reach, influence, and economics make them classic Goliaths, invisible rulers who create bespoke realities that control the destinies of millions of people, their work driven by a simple maxim: "if you make it trend, you make it true."

By revealing the machinery and the dynamics of the interplay between influencers, algorithms, and online crowds, DiResta vividly illustrates the way belief in the fundamental legitimacy of institutions that make society work is deliberately undermined. This alternate system for shaping public opinion, unexamined until now, is rewriting the relationship between the people and their government in profoundly disturbing ways. It has become a force so shockingly effective that its destructive power seems limitless. Scientific proof is powerless in front of it. Democratic validity is bulldozed by it. Leaders are humiliated by it.

With its deep insight into the power of these propagandists to drive online crowds into battle - while bearing no responsibility for the consequences - Invisible Rulers predicts the consequences unless leaders figure out how to rapidly adapt and fight back to restore our sanity and our society.

Renée DiResta is the Technical Research Manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory, a cross-disciplinary program of research, teaching, and policy engagement for the study of abuse in information technologies. She has investigated domestic activists pushing health information and conspiracy theories; geopolitical campaigns created by foreign powers such as Russia. China and Middle Eastern countries; disinformation and propaganda related to COVID-19; the integrity of elections; and voting-related misinformation that led to the January 6th insurrection. She is a regular contributor at The Atlantic and Wired. Her bylined writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Columbia Journalism Review, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Yale Review, POLITICO, Slate, and The Guardian. DiResta has been a Presidential Leadership Scholar; worked with the Presidents Bush, Clinton, and the LBJ Foundations; named an Emerson Fellow, a Truman National Security Project fellow, Mozilla Fellow in Media, Misinformation, and Trust, a Harvard Berkman-Klein affiliate, and a Council on Foreign Relations term member.

This event is free with first come, first served seating.

5015 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
Non Fiction
Invisible Rulers: The People Who Turn Lies into Reality By Renee DiResta Cover Image
ISBN: 9781541703377
Availability: Coming Soon—Pre-Order Now
Published: PublicAffairs - June 11th, 2024