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Juni 2021

The History of Disinformation and Why It Still Matters Today

The next Leibniz Media Lecture will be presented by the Digital Disinformation Hub at HBI. Dr. Heidi Tworek, associate professor of international history and public policy at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada will talk about the history of disinformation and why it still matters today.

Dr. Clara Iglesias Keller will provide the introduction. The event will be held in English.


Wednesday, 23 June 2021, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.


The event will take place online on Zoom. After the registration you will receive the dial-in data by mail shortly before the event starts.

About the Lecture

To control information is to control the world. Information warfare or disinformation may seem like a new feature of our contemporary digital world. But it was just as crucial a century ago, when Germany tried to control world communications — and nearly succeeded. From around 1900, German political and business elites worried that their British and French rivals dominated global news networks. Many Germans even blamed foreign media for Germany’s defeat in World War I. In response, Imperial leaders, and their Weimar and Nazi successors, nurtured wireless technology to make news from Germany a major source of information across the globe. This talk will use that history to understand why elites try to manipulate information and what that means for research into contemporary disinformation. History, this talk suggests, is one crucial way to evaluate what is and is not new about our current moment.

About the Speaker

Dr. Heidi Tworek is associate professor of international history and public policy at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Her work examines the history and policy around media, hate speech, health communications, international organizations, and platform governance. She is a member of the Science and Technology Studies program, the Language Science Initiative, and the Institute for European Studies at UBC. She is a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation as well as a non-resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Canadian Global Affairs Institute

About the Digital Disinformation Hub

Considering the Institute’s long tradition in interdisciplinary media studies, the Digital Disinformation Hub is a research project aiming at strengthening the Institute’s contributions to this debate. This is to be achieved by promoting multidisciplinary collaborations between researchers, by gathering and systematically bringing together internal and external research expertise in the field of disinformation, by promoting conceptual and epistemological approaches to disinformation, and by building external collaborations.

Infos zur Veranstaltung


Online via Zoom

Contact person



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