Friday Plenary Speaker

Mike Caulfield is currently a research scientist leading the UW Center for an Informed Public's rapid response efforts. He has worked with various organizations on digital literacy initiatives to combat mis- and disinformation, including the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ American Democracy Project, the National Writing Project, and CIVIX Canada. He is an awardee of the Rita Allen/RTI Misinformation Solutions Prize and the author of an award-winning open textbook, “Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers.”


He developed the SIFT method for fact-checking (Stop, Investigate, Find better coverage, and Trace claims) and related classroom instruction modules that have been used in hundreds of universities and high schools in the U.S. and Canada. He is currently co-PI on an NSF grant exploring the teaching of SIFT and other lateral reading techniques to adult populations.

Plenary AddressInformation as Experience: Propagandized Events and Online Information Literacy
Much information literacy is predicated on the idea that we form opinions and make decisions through seeking or encountering information. A look at the disinformation campaigns our students and patrons encounter, however, reveals that most disinformation is presented and processed as events. Photos are falsely captioned, videos deceptively edited. Conspiracy theorists dream up and propagate alternate timelines for the conspiracy-curious to experience on TikTok or Telegram. Even more traditionally static false information is portrayed as "newly leaked" or "just revealed", often tied to characters such as the renegade or former insider. In this keynote, information literacy expert and tracker of conspiracy narratives Mike Caulfield will talk about what it means to see information as experienced. Drawing from recent research on participatory propaganda, the presentation will walk listeners through the fascinating world of fabricated and falsely framed events, showing how various information literacy skills and understandings can help create a more disinformation-resilient population