Yael Eisenstat ©private

Yaël Eisenstat: Combating Extremism, Polarization and Anti-Democratic Behavior On- and Offline

Thursday, April 25, 2024, 7 p.m.

Yael Eisenstat (c) private

Yaёl Eisenstat is first and foremost a democracy activist, having spent over two decades combating extremism, polarization and anti-democratic behavior both on- and offline. She is currently a Senior Fellow at Cybersecurity for Democracy, working on policy solutions for how social media, AI-powered algorithms, and Generative AI affect political discourse, polarization, and democracy. Previously, she was Vice President at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Center for Technology & Society (CTS), leading ADL’s efforts to hold tech companies accountable for the proliferation of hate and extremism on their platforms. She works with industry, governments, and civil society to push for a safer internet and technology that better serves the public.
Yaёl joined ADL in October 2022 after spending more than two decades protecting our democracy, including as an intelligence officer, diplomat, and White House advisor. She joined Facebook in 2018 as the head of global elections integrity for political ads, following several years as a vocal critic of the harms that social media has inflicted on democracy and societies worldwide. After leaving Facebook six months later, she spoke openly about the company’s inability to meet its responsibility to secure elections, and she has continued to push for changes in the tech industry.

Yaël also served as the Senior Advisor for Tech and Democracy at the Institute for Security and Technology in 2021-22, was a Future of Democracy Fellow at Berggruen Institute in 2021-22, a Researcher-in-Residence at Betalab in 2020-21, and a Visiting Fellow at Cornell Tech's Digital Life Initiative in 2019-2020, where she focused on technology's effects on discourse and democracy and taught a multi-university course on Tech, Media and Democracy. She was also an Adjunct Professor at NYU's Center for Global Affairs in 2017-18.
Yaël has become a key voice and public advocate for transparency and accountability in tech, particularly where real-world-consequences affect democracy and societies around the world. See her 2020 mainstage TED talk on this subject.

Richard Gutjahr ©Mathias Vietmeier

Richard Gutjahr is one of Germany's most renowned and influential journalists. For 20 years, he worked as a reporter and presenter for ARD/ZDF, both in front of and behind the camera, covering conflicts and crises around the world. His travels frequently took him to the Silicon Valley, where he early on published his insights through various blogs, podcasts, and books. As a lecturer, he teaches journalism in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the United States. Gutjahr has received numerous national and international awards for his outstanding work.

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