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On the Internet, Nobody Knows You’re a Bot

“Brian Friedberg is an investigative ethnographer whose work focuses on the impacts that alternative media, anonymous communities and popular cultures have on political communication and organization. Brian works with Dr. Joan Donovan, who heads one of the world’s leading teams focused on understanding and combating online disinformation and extremism, based at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. In this essay, Brian and Joan explore a challenge the Unreal has presented for study of activism online, the question of whether an online actor is real or synthetic. In this essay, they explore what happens when politically motivated humans impersonate vulnerable people or populations online to exploit their voices, positionality and power.”

See also – Response: “The Dangers of Weaponized Truth” by Brandi Collins-Dexter Brandi Collins-Dexter from Color of Change responds to Friedberg & Donovan’s essay “On the Internet Nobody Knows You’re a Bot”

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