Misinformation Contagion: A View Through an Epidemiological Lens

Misinformation and disinformation have increasingly been a focus of public and media scrutiny in recent years. What differentiates past forms of misinformation from present-day are the new tools of information warfare—primarily the internet, and specifically social media platforms—which have effectively weaponized intentional false narratives directed at populations most vulnerable to manipulation. In this video, based on his CHDS Master’s thesis, “Misinformation Contagion: A View Through an Epidemiological Lens,” Scott Fenton explores how we can better understand and address the proliferation of misinformation by viewing it through an epidemiological lens.

About the Presenter

Scott Fenton served 35 years in the fire service of Monterey County, California before recently taking on a new role at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He is now the Operations Branch Director for Mass Care on the Region 9 Incident Management Assistance Team 1 (IMAT). FEMA’s Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT) are rapidly deployable assets that provide the federal government’s initial coordination and response capability prior to and in the immediate hours following a serious incident. Scott holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and earned his Master of Arts in Security Studies at the Center for Homeland Defense and Security/Naval Postgraduate School. While at CHDS, he received an outstanding thesis award for his exploration of misinformation viewed through an epidemiological lens. 

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