The Forum on Information and Democracy has named the steering committee of the “working group on infodemics.” Chaired by Maria Ressa and Marietje Schaake, the steering committee consists of 17 prominent figures including David Kaye and Edison Lanza, the UN and OAS special rapporteurs on freedom of opinion and expression (see the list below).

The Forum was created with the aim of devising and implementing democratic guarantees in the online information and communication space. The creation of the working group was announced on 24 June and received strong support from countries of the Alliance for Multilateralism at their meeting on 26 June.

The first meeting of the steering committee will be held today at 3 p.m. (CET). Christophe Deloire, chair of the Forum on Information and Democracy, Night Dad, vice-chair, and Leon Willems, treasurer, will also participate. 

The agenda includes finalization of the call for contributions that will be issued in the coming days.

The steering committee is composed as follows: 

Maria Ressa (co-chair)

Journalist, CEO of the investigation website Rappler in the Philippines. Time magazine Person of the Year in 2018. Member of the Commission on Information and Democracy.

Marietje Schaake (co-chair)

Former member of the European Parliament (2009 – 2019). Currently international policy director of the Stanford Cyber Policy Center and president of the Cyber Peace Institute. 

Sinan Aral

David Austin Professor of Management, Marketing, IT and Data Science at MIT, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE) and a founding partner at Manifest Capital. Author of forthcoming book The Hype Machine.

Julia Cagé

Author of bestselling books about democracy and media. Assistant Professor of Economics at Sciences Po and co-director of LIEPP “Evaluation of Democracy” Research Group. Specialized in development economics, political economy, and economic history.

Pamela Chen

2020 Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence-JSK Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. Specializes in improving the recommendation systems that control our shared visual experiences. Emmy award-winning documentary director.

Ronald Deibert

Professor of Political Science and Director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto. Co-founder and principal investigator of the OpenNet Initiative and Information Warfare Monitor projects.

Camille François

Chief Innovation Officer at Graphika, leads the company’s work to detect and mitigate disinformation and media manipulation. Previously the Principal Researcher at Jigsaw.

David Kaye

United Nations special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression. Clinical professor of law at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law.

Edison Lanza

Lawyer, special rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Directed and founded several non-governmental organizations which defend the right to freedom of expression.

Roger McNamee

Author of Zucked: waking up the Facebook catastrophe and tech venture capitalist. Founding partner of Elevation Partners. Co-founder of Silver Lake Partners and head of the T. Rowe Price Science and Technology Fund. Former investor in Facebook. 

Jun Murai

Distinguished Professor, Keio University. Co-Director, Keio University Cyber Civilization Research Center. Founder of the Japan University UNIX Network (JUNET) and the WIDE project. Known as the “father of the Internet in Japan”.

Peter Pomerantsev

Journalist, author and TV producer. Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute of Global Affairs at the London School of Economics. Senior Fellow at the Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

Julie Posetti

Global Director of Research at the International Center for Journalists. Previously, Senior Research Fellow and lead of the Journalism Innovation Project at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. 

Anya Schiffrin

Former journalist, director of the Technology, Media, and Communications specialization at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and lecturer at the School of International and Public Affairs.

Vivian Schiller

Executive director of Aspen Digital program at the Aspen Institute. Former President and CEO of NPR and founding head of the Civil Foundation. Board member of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) USA. 

Wolfgang Schulz

Director of the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. Lecturer within the field of information and communication at the law faculty of the University of Hamburg. Member of the directorate of the Hans-Bredow Institut.

Christopher Wylie

Data scientist and the whistleblower who reported Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. Listed in TIME 100 Most Influential People in the World and Forbes’ 30 Under 30. Author of bestselling book Mindf*ck: inside Cambridge Analytica’s plot to break the world.

The lawyer Dan Shefet, expert with UNESCO and UN’s Office on Genocide Prevention and Hate Speech, is the legal adviser of the rapporteur’s team.