Meedan is thrilled to announce our participation at RightsCon Costa Rica in June 2023. As a fully remote, decentralized team, RightsCon has always been a primary venue for us to come together with a large contingency of the digital rights community. 

With the panels and workshops listed below, we are eager to share a wide range of our work with the RightsCon community and once again push our field forward with experts from around the world. From decentralized content moderation to election integrity and mitigating secondary trauma of fact-checkers, we look forward to covering some of the most pressing issues in the digital rights space, and even more so look forward to being in conversation and community with all in attendance.

Below is the list of sessions from our team:

Life or death: why thinking about health fact checking through a gendered lens matters 

In this online dialogue, experts in reproductive health misinformation and gender journalism speak about how platforms – including smaller and decentralized platforms – fact checking organizations, and individual fact checkers, can better track gendered health misinformation trends and tackle them head on. The dialogue will feature:

  • Jenna Sherman, Program Manager of Meedan’s Digital Health Lab
  • Nat Gyenes, Director of Meedan’s Digital Health Lab
  • Sophia Smith Galer, Senior News Reporter at VICE World News
  • Nicolas Meade, PhD Associate at Yale Gender Program

When: 9:45 a.m. EDT / June 6, 2023

Cross-country collaboration and machine learning to address misinformation among diaspora and migrant communities

In this fishbowl session, we discuss how two fact-checking groups from the Philippines and Taiwan devised a project, funded by Check Global and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, counter cross-border spread of misinformation among the Filipino immigrant communities in Taiwan and how the Co·Insights project is supporting Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) diaspora communities in the US. We will also discuss why such collaborations are important, major challenges encountered, and how future projects can be designed to empower diaspora communities to counter misinformation. The session will feature:

  • Scott Hale, Director of Research at Meedan
  • Leezel Tanglao, President, Co-Founder, and Director of Tayo Project, Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO)
  • Mark Calaguas, Executive Vice President and Tayo Project Co-Founder/Legal Counsel, Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO)
  • Celine Samson, Head of the Online Verification Team at VERA Files

When: 2:45 p.m. EDT / June 6, 2023

Co-designing guidelines with first responders to build scalable escalation channels for targets of online abuse 

This workshop will bring together perspectives of “users” navigating both sides of the issue—targets of online abuse and the responders that escalate their cases, as well as those within technology platforms who must receive and act on those escalations at scale. The workshop will feature:

  • Kat Lo, Content Moderation Lead at Meedan
  • Elodie Vialle, Consultant of Digital Safety and Free Expression at PEN America
  • Shmyla Khan, Director of Research and Policy at Digital Rights Foundation
  • Mohammed Al-Maskati, Digital Security Helpline Director at Access Now

When: 4 p.m. EDT / June 6, 2023

Content moderation infrastructure for decentralized social media 

This fishbowl session will provide a 20-minute overview of both the theoretical and technical work we at Meedan have done so far on decentralized content moderation infrastructure. The remaining 40 minutes will involve short breakouts around the question of 1) what would empower professional moderators and 2) what would be beneficial to entities that run decentralized communities, followed by sharing out and a group discussion to close the event. Participants will also be invited to an online space where they can continue to engage with the project after RightsCon. The session will feature:

  • Darius Kazemi, Senior Software Engineer at Meedan
  • Kat Lo, Content Moderation lead at Meedan

When: 6:30 p.m. EDT / June 7, 2023

Is it safe? Mitigating against the mental toll of fact-checking harmful content 

Workshop participants will first of all learn from our primary research, which has explored the mental health impacts of fact checkers and journalists working with challenging content. Participants will then be given the opportunity to reflect on their own working practices, and how they might develop organizational and/or individual action plans to apply the suggested solutions and mitigations that we and our research interviewees provided. Our hybrid format will allow remote attendees to contribute to the live discussion. Feedback and opportunity to collaborate further will be collected through a post-workshop online form.  The workshop will feature:

  • Dima Saber, Director of Check Global at Meedan, Associate Director for External Funding and Research Development at Birmingham City University
  • Nat Gyenes, Director of Meedan’s Digital Health Lab
  • Kat Lo, Content Moderation Lead at Meedan
  • Jenna Sherman, Program Manager and Researcher at Meedan’s Digital Health Lab

When: 5:15 p.m. EDT / June 8, 2023

NOTE: This workshop will be capped at 50 participants. Seats will be filled on a first-come, first served basis.