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Bankrolling Bigotry

Hosted by the LSE IDEAS

Online public event


Clare Melford

Clare Melford

Co-Founder and Executive Director of Global Disinformation Index (GDI)


Professor Chris Alden

Professor Chris Alden

Director of LSE IDEAS

The financial incentives to create polarising and divisive content online have generated a tsunami of hate and division. Breaking the business model is the key to reclaiming our information space. Join this LSE IDEAS webinar with Clare Melford, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Global Disinformation Index.

The internet is one of the greatest agents of free speech and democracy the world has ever seen. It gives individuals and communities access to unprecedented tools for self-expression, new platforms to build communities, and new capabilities to speak truth to power. But the power of those tools threatens established democracies. Social media is being corrupted, exploited, and weaponized by those with the power to control the flow and distort the integrity of information. 

Disrupting the incentives to create this polluted information ecosystem is key in reclaiming a healthy public sphere, protecting our democratic way of life, and marshalling the collective will to tackle global pandemics and the existential threat of run-away climate change.

Clare Melford, the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Global Disinformation Index (GDI), will discuss how GDI is seeking to do just that. By assessing news sites on their risk of disinforming readers and providing those risk ratings to the advertising technology sector, GDI enables advertisers to choose not to fund high risk, polarising and divisive content online. We must preserve the right to free speech. But there is no such right to free reach or profit.

Meet the speaker

Clare Melford is the Co-founder & Executive Director of The Global Disinformation Index, a not-for-profit that aims to disrupt, defund and down-rank disinformation. Clare is an experienced CEO in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors. Clare was formerly CEO of the International Business Leaders Forum and MD of MTV Networks, Nordics. She has worked on start ups in e-commerce, fin-tech and ed-tech. Clare was a founding board member of Girls not Brides, the global coalition to end child marriage.

Meet the chair

Chris Alden is a Professor of International Relations at The London School of Economics, and Director of LSE IDEAS.

Event hashtag: #LSEDigitalIR

LSE IDEAS (@lseideas) is LSE's foreign policy think tank. Through sustained engagement with policymakers and opinion-formers, IDEAS provides a forum that informs policy debate and connects academic research with the practice of diplomacy and strategy.


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Whilst we are hosting this listing, LSE Events does not take responsibility for the running and administration of this event. While we take responsible measures to ensure that accurate information is given here this event is ultimately the responsibility of the organisation presenting the event.

This event will also be streamed live on Facebook


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