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Lecture & Discussion | Creating a Resilient Network to Fight Russian Propaganda. Psychology, a Chat Bot, and Values-Based Methods to Challenge Social Polarization

When? Tuesday, 27 June 2023, 16:15–17:45

Where? Room 319, Altes Finanzamt (IOS/GS), Landshuter Str. 4, 93047 Regensburg

and also via Zoom (link below)

The event takes place in person at IOS and via Zoom

Lecture by Maya Stravinsky (founder of the MOST project) on "Creating a Resilient Network to Fight Russian Propaganda. Psychology, a Chat Bot, and Values-Based Methods to Challenge Social Polarization". The event will be followed by a panel discussion between Maya Stravinsky and Alexander Gubsky and a Q&A session.

In a world increasingly divided by polarizing narratives and disinformation, fostering constructive dialogue and mutual understanding is more important than ever. This lecture will introduce the MOST Project, an innovative initiative that tackles polarization and misinformation surrounding complex issues like the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

We will delve into the project's methodology, which includes identifying propaganda talking points, crafting counterarguments, promoting open discourse, and ensuring factual accuracy. The lecture will discuss the role of volunteers, psychology experts, and journalists in this process, as well as the project's use of technology, such as chatbots and AI, to facilitate conversations.

Additionally, we will explore the importance of empathy and understanding in engaging with opposing viewpoints, as well as the challenges and opportunities the MOST Project faces in adapting to evolving narratives and propaganda tactics.

Maya Stravinsky is a journalist and media manager who is famous for her multimedia projects and data journalism pieces. She knows how to connect data, content and design in new media formats to present information for different audience. She worked for the Kommersant newspaper, launched and headed the Snob project website, launched data journalism department at News Agency and Rambler's infographic studio, and made the Live Pages app for Samsung.

Maya worked for Kommersant, Forbes Russia, Forbes Life, Afisha, Lenta.ru, Gazeta.ru and Business school Skolkovo. She left Russia on March 22 because of her anti-war position and created the XZ Foundation in Germany, which focuses on cultural and media projects that target Russian audiences.

Alexander Gubsky is a professional journalist and graduate of Moscow State University. In 1995 Alexander joined The Moscow Times, established by Derk Sauer in 1992. Alexander was one of the creators of the concept and editorial team of Vedomosti, a unique business and media project created in Russia in 1999 jointly by The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and Sauer's Independent Media. The irreplaceable deputy editor-in-chief, Alexander left Vedomosti in 2020 along with other key journalists after bu sinessmen close to the Kremlin gained control of the publication. In the same year, he and his colleagues founded a new Russian media project VTimes, Alexander became the publisher. In May 2021, VTimes was granted "foreign agent" status by the Russian Ministry of Justice and closed down in June 2021. Mr. Gubsky has been the publisher of The Moscow Times since 2021. Until 2014, Alexander was a member of the Expert Council of the Faculty of Journalism at Moscow State University, and in 2022 he taught a course on media management at RANEPA University in Moscow.

A cooperation between the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies, the Leibniz ScienceCampus "Europe and America in the Modern World", the XZ Foundation, and The Moscow Times Lecture Series.