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Renée DiResta

Emerson Collective Fellowship

Investigates the movement of social media narratives in an effort to understand how misleading information spreads online.

Renée DiResta is a researcher who investigates the spread of narratives across social and media networks, with an interest in understanding how platform design and economic incentives intersect with user behavior and crowd dynamics. She studies how the internet is used to exert influence—from domestic activists promoting health misinformation and conspiracy theories, to geopolitically motivated information operations conducted by state actors.

In 2018, at the behest of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, DiResta led an investigation into the Russian Internet Research Agency’s multiyear effort to manipulate American society, and presented public testimony. She is currently the Technical Research Manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory, a cross-disciplinary program of research, teaching and policy engagement for the study of abuse in current information technologies.

As an Emerson Collective Fellow, DiResta will investigate influence operations related to COVID-19 and the 2020 election, and write about how changes in technology over the last five years have enabled the rise of misinformation and conspiracy theories online.