Weaponized Information: Towards a Global Response

Building a humanitarian community to address emerging digital threats.

Landsat imagery courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and U.S. Geological Survey.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
Pier 17, Suite 800, San Francisco, California 94111 United States


November 22, 2019 from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)


Invitation only, e-mail for information.

Weaponized information — such as the spread of harmful rumors and misinformation, digital hate speech, computational propaganda, and disinformation operations — is an increasingly serious global threat which destabilizes societies, threatens democracy, complicates humanitarian responses, and increases the risk of human rights abuses, conflict, and mass atrocities.

This expert roundtable brings together practitioners, researchers, and policymakers for a mutual learning opportunity with a focus on the latest work being done by both the Do No Digital Harm Initiative and the Sentinel Project with their partners to counter weaponized information in conflict-affected countries worldwide. This discussion will help to further build a community of practice around countering weaponized information.

In line with swissnex San Francisco’s continuous efforts on the future of humanitarian action, this invite-only workshop is a direct follow-up to the Digital Dignity conference at Wilton Park, UK, on October 21-23, 2019, attended by the below speakers, Joseph Guay and Christopher Tuckwood, and Benjamin Bollmann, Deputy CEO of swissnex San Francisco and Advisor to the The Do No Digital Harm Initiative.


2:00pm — doors open
2:30pm — Benjamin Bollmann, swissnex San Francisco
2:40pm — Christopher Tuckwood, The Sentinel Project
3:00pm — Joseph Guay, The Do No Digital Harm Initiative
3:20pm — discussions
5:00pm — networking
6:00pm — doors close


Joseph Guay

Joseph Guay is Lead Researcher for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Weaponization of Information Research Program. He’s also Co-Founder and Director of Research at The Do No Digital Harm Initiative and Visiting Researcher at UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Center, where he is leading research on digital surveillance, information warfare, and the harmful effects of data experimentation in humanitarian emergencies. As a Humanitarian Innovation Fund grantee, Joe has played an advisory role to the Community Protection Support (CPS) network in northern Myanmar, supported by the Nonviolent Peaceforce and Nyein Foundation. Since 2015, Joe has managed The Policy Lab’s research on humanitarian innovation and humanitarian technologies for three years, with a focus on responsible innovation, digital data experimentation, risk management, and ethical design. He has supported the development of intelligence solutions for mass atrocity prevention work in South Sudan (at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s Satellite Sentinel Project), humanitarian protection efforts during the Ebola pandemic and Nepal earthquake responses (at Northeastern University’s Geographic Information Science graduate program), and on human trafficking and mixed migration monitoring in the Horn of Africa (for the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat’s 4Mi initiative). 

Christopher TuckwoodChristopher Tuckwood is the co-founder and executive director of the Sentinel Project, an organization dedicated to assisting communities threatened by mass atrocities through direct cooperation with the people in harm’s way and the innovative use of technology. Chris has particularly focused on the organization’s misinformation management efforts, such as the Una Hakika mobile phone-based information service, which engages people in monitoring, verifying, and countering harmful misinformation linked to ethnic violence in Kenya. This work has grown to cover higher-intensity conflict situations in other countries, such as Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and refugee settlements in Uganda. These projects have also served conflict-affected people as responsive, community-based, and locally-targeted early warning systems during times of active crisis.