Sage Center Lecture: Reining in Online Abuses: From Fake News to Extremism and Child Exploitation


Hany Farid

Date and Location

Thursday October 18, 2018 4:00pm
Sage Conference Room (PSYCH 1312)


Hany Farid is the Albert Bradley 1915 Third Century Professor and Chair of Computer Science at Dartmouth. Dr. Farid received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. Following a two year post-doctoral fellowship in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, he joined the faculty at Dartmouth in 1999. Dr. Farid’s research focuses on digital forensics, image analysis, and human perception, and he has been called the "father" of digital image forensics by the PBS science program NOVA scienceNOW. He has consulted for intelligence agencies, news organizations, courts, and scientific journals seeking to authenticate the validity of images. Dr. Farid is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and he is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He is also the Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Fourandsix Technologies. In June 2016, Dr. Farid, as a Senior Advisor to the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), unveiled a software tool for use by Internet and social media companies to quickly find and eliminate extremist content used to spread and incite violence and attacks.

Dr. Farid’s SAGE Center lecture is Thursday, October 18 at 4 p.m. in Psychology 1312 on the UCSB campus. It is free and open to the public. His description of this talk follows:


The pattern in Silicon Valley is too familiar: Move fast, break things, apologize, promise to do better, and repeat. After nearly two decades of this pattern, we are tired. We are tired by the failure to protect user’s privacy, allowing advertisers to illegally target housing and job ads based on race and age, promoting fake news designed to incite violence and disrupt elections, allowing terror-groups to continue to radicalize and recruit online, and allowing child predators to prey on and victimize children. If we are to realize the full potential of the information age, we must do better. If we are to continue to encourage our graduates to pursue technical degrees and join the ranks of big tech, then we must do better. I will describe the development and deployment of technologies that can be used to rein in some of the worst abuses on-line. I will also describe the technological, legal, and policy obstacles that we faced prior to deployment and how lessons from this work can inform future efforts.


H. Farid. Reining in Online Abuses. Technology and Innovation, 19(3): 593-599, 2018

The dystopian digital future of fake media, 2018

H. Farid. How to Detect Faked Photos. American Scientist, 2017