Data and Democracy

From fake news to foreign press, political interference to informed truths, big data is changing how we perceive and participate in our democracies. SFU explores the opportunities and risks of the citizen-led demand for data in the current Internet age.

As social media plays a large role in the dissemination of information, mainstream media and communication technologies continue to have a vital role in shaping and reshaping public discourse. This panel discussion critically examines how fake news, emerging technologies, industries and public policy influence citizen trust in the disinformation age.

"It's not so a matter of what is true or what is false. It’s 'are you open to having your worldview change and questioned'" - Maite Taboada

Watch the panel session from April 30, 2019

Featured Experts

Andrew Franklin, VP Canadian Digital Operations, Black Press Media

Maite Taboada, Professor, Department of Linguistics, Simon Fraser University

Sue Wheatley, Executive Director, Integrated Data Division, BC Ministry of Citizens' Services

Christin Wiedemann, President, Radical I/O Technology Inc.


Fred Popowich, Scientific Director, SFU's Big Data Hub

Can Government Defeat Terrorism by Distracting the Press?

 Watch the presentation from April 9, 2019

Limiting the attention countries receive from the foreign press is thought to reduce the incidence of deadly terrorist attacks. But, by how much? Some countries stand to benefit more than others. Yet, the data reveals that reducing press attention produces, at best, only minor reductions in the number of deadly foreign terrorist attacks countries experience.

Featured Expert

Aaron Hoffman, Professor of Political Science, Simon Fraser University