Upcoming Event: Cognitive Security Conference

((POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE… Stay tuned for more details))

The Center for Media Engagement is thrilled to announce the inaugural Cognitive Security (COGSEC) Conference. The conference will be held at The University of Texas at Austin on August 13-14, 2020 in collaboration with Tim Hwang.

The Cognitive Security Conference (COGSEC) will focus on familiar problems: the threat posed by online propaganda, media manipulation, and influence operations. But, with a twist: unlike many of the conferences, summits, and gatherings that have taken place on the topic since 2016, COGSEC is all about the real-world, hands-on practice of defending against these threats.

Even as structural efforts to improve media literacy, understand the nature of disinformation, and draft new legal frameworks are underway, COGSEC will be a conference for those who need practical knowledge for defending communities and striking back at malign actors today.

The idea is to share findings, teach the hard-earned lessons from being in the field, and to develop the norms of ethical security research on these topics.

So, what does this look like in practice? What can you expect at COGSEC? Here are some of the sessions that we’re looking to host:

  • Investigations into ongoing media manipulation and influence campaigns, and case studies assessing the efficacy of launching particular countermeasures against them.

  • Workshops distilling specific and concrete skills in the disinformation defense space (detecting coordinated activity on social media, community organizing tactics, neutralizing bot swarms, media forensics, etc).

  • Demonstrations exposing new vulnerabilities in the media manipulation and online propaganda space, and discussions on addressing and patching these issues.

  • “Robo Rally”, a live competition focused on generating as many believable bot accounts on social media as possible in the shortest possible time.

Got something along these lines you’d like to present on? We’d like to hear from you!

We’ve officially opened up a Call for Sessions, which will be open until May 4, 2020. Read more about it here.

Passes are $100 for general public tickets and $50 for student tickets. You can register here.