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PEACETALKS #41: Democracy vs. Disinformation - What does it mean for Canada's election?

Guest Speaker:
John Gray, Co-founder of Mentionmapp and Misinfosec Working Group (Lead Contributor) at Credibility Coalition, Lindsay Sample, Manager Editor at The Discourse, Chris Tenove, post-doctoral researcher at UBC, Moderated by videojournalist Nadia Stewart of Global BC
Jun 26, 2019
5:30 - 8:00pm

Doors open - Food & mingling starts @ 5:30 PM
Talk starts @ 6 PM


About this talk

From targeted ads to campaign bots, it's become harder than to ever differentiate between fact and misinformation online. As Canadians prepare to hit the polls this October, how ready are we to make an informed vote? 

A recent survey conducted by the Canadian Journalism Foundation found that 40% of respondents struggle to differentiate between real and false news stories. And many will recall the robocall scandal of the 2011 elections, directing Ontario voters to erroneous polling locations.

Meanwhile, Facebook Canada has refused to take down doctored content during the federal election campaign, whilst its CEO and COO Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg have ignored the subpoena to testify before the International Grand Committee on Big Data, Privacy and Democracy in Ottawa. 

So, is Canada’s democracy immune from digital interference?

To answer these questions and more:

PeaceGeeks is proud to present Democracy vs. Disinformation: What does it mean for Canada’s election?, the 41st installment of our PeaceTalks speaker series tackling critical issues at the intersection of peace and technology.

Join us for an open conversation with:

  • John Gray, Co-founder of Mentionmapp and Misinfosec Working Group (Lead Contributor) at Credibility Coalition

  • Lindsay Sample, Manager Editor at The Discourse

  • Chris Tenove, post-doctoral researcher at UBC

  • Moderated by videojournalist Nadia Stewart of Global BC

In this informative and timely panel, we navigate how public opinion has been and is being manipulated online, and what Canadians can do to safeguard the integrity of our democratic processes.

Tickets are free or by donation. Drinks and refreshments will be provided.


Meet the speakers


JOHN GRAY is a Misinfosec Analyst who through his roles with the Credibility Coalition and his company Mentionmapp Analytics researches suspect behaviors and persistent threats operating throughout the information landscape. He thinks that “the bad guys are winning because they have a playbook and toss aside the rulebook, while the good guys read the rulebook but have no playbook.” John's researched and written multiple case studies about synthetic online behaviors and disinformation. He's co-authored the paper “#Kremlin: Using Hashtags to Analyze Russian Disinformation and Audience Engagement” (to be presented at the 2019 American Political Science Association conference) and has collaborated with journalists and publications including Reuters (2019 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting: "Myanmar Burning") and Wired. John has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Communications) and a B.A. (English) both from Simon Fraser University.

LINDSAY SAMPLE is the managing editor at The Discourse, an award-winning digital news media company that provides in-depth journalism in local communities. Lindsay has shaped The Discourse's editorial process, executed large partnerships, published research on the state of the industry and is working to build a new model for community-engaged journalism in Canada. Previously, Lindsay was an investigative journalist for CBC Marketplace for three years. She's also completed stints at CBC Radio's As It Happens, produced a radio documentary for The Current, and produced videos for The New York Times.

CHRIS TENOVE is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia. He teaches and conducts research on the use of digital technologies in politics, focusing on issues of democratic integrity, international relations, political theory and public policy. In November 2018 the Public Policy Forum published a report he co-authored with Heidi Tworek and Fenwick McKelvey, called Poisoning Democracy: How Canada Can Address Harmful Speech Online. Dr. Tenove previously worked as a journalist. His features have appeared Maclean’sThe WalrusCanadian GeographicAdbustersVancouverReader’s Digest Canada, the Globe and MailThe Tyee, and the National Post. As a broadcaster, his documentaries have appeared on CBC Ideas, the Radio Netherlands World Service, and This American Life.

NADIA STEWART (Moderator) works as a videojournalist with Global News in Vancouver and has since 2014. She’s spent the last 15 years working in community and local television, with Rogers TV, CBC and The Weather Network, in Ontario, Newfoundland, Alberta and now B.C.




Getting here

The HiVE is a social impact coworking space, located at 210-128 W. Hastings St. (Open in Google Maps) and is a short walk from Waterfront and Stadium-Chinatown Skytrain stations, as well as various bus stops. We are the door next to Body Energy Club on Hastings, buzz #210 to enter, and proceed to the first door up the stairs on your left. 



Reach us at

We respectfully acknowledge that this event takes place on the Unceded, Traditional, Ancestral Territories of the Sḵwxwú7mesh, səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm First Nations.

Jun 7, 2019
Category: PeaceTalks
Time 2:
5 PM