Think Talk: Disinformation, democracy, and the common good: Aotearoa New Zealand 2023
Tuesday, 4th April 2023 7.30pm - 8.30pm
About Kate Hannah
Kate Hannah is the Founder and Director of The Disinformation Project Aotearoa, a research consortium which has studied misinformation and disinformation in Aotearoa New Zealand since February 2020. A cultural historian of science and technology, Hannah focuses on the role of the internet in information disorders, dangerous speech, and hate speech, with specific interest in the role of and impacts of misogyny, racism, and white supremacism in socio-political discourses.
She is experienced in research translation for decision-makers, communication, public engagement and consultation, and community co-development of research and research outcomes. Part of the Te Pūnaha Matatini team that won the 2021 Prime Minister’s Science Prize for their work in supporting Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid response, Hannah is a US State Department 2022 International Visitor Leadership Program alum, participating in a program focused on Disinformation in the Pacific. She is a Principal Investigator with Te Pūnaha Matatini, and a PhD candidate at the Centre for Science and Society at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington.
Media ecologies in Aotearoa New Zealand adapted and changed significantly over the period of the first two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, with critical social and political implications for present and future discussions of political systems, democracy, and representation. I will briefly examine the key tipping points which led to these adaptations and changes, analyse the international trends, and presents a grounded and situated reflection on the critical challenge posed by New Zealand’s Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Jacinda Arden, on March 2 2022, the day the 23-day occupation of Parliament grounds by anti-vaccine/anti-mandate protestors ended in a violent clash with police: “One day it will be our job to try and understand how a group of people could succumb to such wild and dangerous mis- and disinformation. And while many of us who have seen that disinformation and dismissed it as conspiracy theory, a small portion of our society have not only believed it, they have acted upon in in an extreme and violent way that cannot stand. We have a difficult journey in front of us to address the underlying cause of what we have seen here today.”
Please register for this talk so we can plan seating for the expected numbers. A small donation on arrival at the door is appreciated.