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“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” Winston S. Churchill

On September 17, scholars, policymakers and representatives from major social media platforms will meet at the Federal Election Commission’s headquarters in Washington to discuss how best to combat digital disinformation in the run-up to the 2020 election season. The daylong symposium – hosted by FEC Chair Ellen Weintraub, PEN America, and Stanford’s Global Digital Policy Incubator – is designed to frame and understand the risks and challenges posed by misleading ads, posts, and messages and how that disinformation could impact the upcoming campaign and election.

WHAT: “Digital Disinformation and the Threat to Democracy: Information Integrity in the 2020 Elections”

WHEN: Tuesday, September 17 from 9am until 12:45pm

WHO: Remarks from Sen. Mark Warner, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff; additional confirmed speakers include Ellen Weintraub, chair of the US Federal Election Commission; Suzanne Nossel, PEN America CEO; Eileen Donahoe, Stanford University’s Global Digital Policy Incubator executive director; Ginny Badanes of Microsoft; Graphika’s Camille Francois; Twitter’s Kevin Kane; Lou Jacobson, PolitiFact senior correspondent; Nate Miller of Avaaz; Laura Rosenberger of the Alliance for Securing Democracy; Google’s Clement Wolf; and Kara Swisher, The New York Times writer and editor-at-large for Recode.

WHERE: Federal Election Commission, Hearing Room, 1050 First St. NE, Washington DC 20463



8:00: Doors open
8:30 – 9:00: Coffee & registration
9:00 – 9:10: Introduction: Framing the challenge
9:10 – 9:45: Keynote: Senator Mark Warner of Virginia
9:45 – 11:00: Session 1 Understanding the global challenge: How disinformation and new technologies affect the way people think & what we have learned from the international experience
11:00 – 12:45: Session 2: Facing the challenge in the U.S.: Solutions in the fight to save the 2020 elections
12:45 – 1:00: Closing and next steps

Afterward, the symposium organizers will distribute a list of recommendations and calls to action addressed political actors, tech companies, journalists and policy makers.


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. Its mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. PEN America is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.


Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

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Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! , September * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

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