“Fake News” Workshops with Russ Feingold

September 5, 2017

This year ISPS is hosting a series of workshops given by visiting professor and former Senator of Wisconsin, Russ Feingold. The fall workshops will examine a series of issues related to fake news and political misinformation.  The workshop will meet six times during the semester for up to an hour and a half.  The first workshop will be 4:30-6:00 pm on Tuesday, September 12 with subsequent sessions tentatively scheduled every two weeks. (Registration is required)

Students will be expected to volunteer to help select readings and lead the discussion on at least one topic.

The initial sessions will explore the nature of fake news and misinformation, particularly in the internet platform context. Can it be defined? Is this problem different now than in the past? What effects does fake news have on those exposed to it? Then we will consider the effects of the phenomenon on recent elections in the United States and other nations. The next group of sessions will examine legal issues and potential governmental regulation relating to fake news and misinformation and the status of and potential for self-regulation, particularly by internet platforms. The final workshops will consider the impact of fake news and political misinformation on journalism and the external mechanisms to counter this phenomenon, including fact-checking mechanisms and civic education.

Russell Feingold is a Visiting Lecturer in Law and Martin R. Flug Visiting Professor in the Practice of Law at Yale Law School. He served as a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin from 1993 to 2011 and a Wisconsin State Senator from 1983 to 1993. From 2013 to 2015, he served as the United States Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region of Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In addition to his congressional and diplomatic career, Senator Feingold has taught or lectured at Stanford University and Stanford University Law School, Lawrence University, Marquette University Law School, American University, and Beloit College. He is a regular contributor to The Guardian. Senator Feingold holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar), and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.