Do We Understand “Fake News”?—Podcast

The Kennedy School Review’s Podcast explores the vast range of talents and experiences that HKS students and faculty bring to our community. We highlight student voices and bring students and faculty together to discuss the work they do.

In this episode, KSR editor Matt McDole sits down with Shorenstein Center fellows Dipayan Ghosh and Claire Wardle, and entrepreneur Howard Cohen, to discuss fake news. Ghosh is a computer scientist who has worked in the tech industry as a privacy policy advisor at Facebook as well as in government as an advisor to the Obama administration. Wardle is one of the world’s leading experts in fake news and online disinformation. Cohen is the CEO and founder of Privacy Watch. These experts discuss the different types of fake news and labels we can use to tell the difference among them, how the online environment has fundamentally changed over the past five years, what we know and don’t know about fake news, and what governments and private companies can do about it. In addition, they discuss a new project launching this summer at the Shorenstein Center designed to combat fake news during elections.

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Dipayan Ghosh is a computer scientist and privacy engineer. He is a fellow at the Shorenstein Center and New America, where his work addresses issues at the intersection of individual privacy and the influence of algorithms. He served as a technology and economic policy advisor in the Obama White House, and until recently, was U.S. privacy and public policy advisor at Facebook.


Claire Wardle is one of the world’s leading experts on online disinformation. She currently leads a new project at the Shorenstein Center designed to tackle the problem, with initiatives supporting elections this year in Brazil and in the United States for the midterms.



Howard Cohen is the CEO & Founder of Privacy Watch. As a journalist, he’s worked at CNN, CBS News & the United Nations. As a tech entrepreneur, he helped scale a social enterprise that increased voter turnout in democracies around the world & developed methods to detect fake news. He is a Harvard alum & has been named an Under 30 Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum.


Photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash