In 2018, journalist Davey Alba traveled to the Philippines to investigate Facebook’s breakneck proliferation in that country and President Rodrigo Duterte’s rise to power. She revealed how the politician’s incendiary style aligned perfectly with the tech company’s algorithms that reward entertaining, inflammatory content. From maligning opponents to espousing hardline policies to combat the drug trade, Duterte’s operatives created memes, propaganda and egregious libel that flourished on Facebook. Join Alba for an examination of how demagogic political campaigns worldwide have weaponized the social media platform.
About the Speaker: Davey Alba is a reporter for The New York Times covering technology. Prior to joining the Times, she was a senior reporter at BuzzFeed News. She has been a staff writer at Wired and an editor at Popular Mechanics. Alba grew up in the Philippines and holds a B.A. degree from De La Salle University in Manila and an M.A. in science journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She received the 2019 Livingston Award for international reporting for her BuzzFeed investigation “How Duterte Used Facebook to Fuel the Philippine Drug War“.
This Livingston Lecture event is co-sponsored by the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy is a co-sponsor of the event.
This event is produced with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.