Nitin Agarwal UA Little Rock Professor and Social Media influence researcher, 7-18-23, Part 2: OTOH Episode 41

On the Other Hand

Aug 30 2023 • 32 mins

In part 2 of our interview, Glen and April discuss with Dr. Nitin Agarwal, professor and chair of the Information Sciences department at University of Arkansas at Little Rock, what he has learned about how bad actors around the world plan and implement influence operations online, including through information environment manipulation, mis/disinformation and propaganda campaigns.  Dr. Agarwal explains how "social cyber forensics" is used to investigate "mal-information" online, how "adversarial AI" is being increasingly used in social media to negatively impact countries by other nation-states or groups who seek to sow discord in their enemies' culture, and the impact this has on democracies. His work with Arkansas government officials, the US defense establishment, and NATO has led his group to provide important insights into the potential harm that certain social media influence operations can cause, as well as to suggest ways to combat these destructive efforts. Nitin concludes with several ideas about how individuals, media platforms, and government can help work against these negative influence operations.

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