Beyond Fact-Checking: Narratives and Emotions In Imaginative Counter-Disinformation Strategies Across Southeast Asia

ISEAS Hybrid Seminar by Media, Technology and Society Programme 

About the Seminar

Across the Southeast Asian region, digital disinformation is rapidly innovating its tactics. Disinformation producers have grown more adept at cat-and-mouse games that exploit the gaps in technological and regulatory features of social media platforms. They have also been more creative in recruiting specialised digital workers to push their content. Meanwhile, public discussion and donor funding on counter-disinformation continue to be primarily about fact-checking, media literacy, and platform regulation.

This webinar aims to expand existing avenues for pushing back at online information disorder in the region. It assesses the possibilities and challenges for “imaginative counter-disinformation”. This refers to initiatives that turn disinformation campaigns on their head by using their own strategy of connecting to people’s shared narratives and emotions about their socio-political world.

To explore this topic, the webinar brings into dialogue researchers and creatives engaged in counter-disinformation in relation to Southeast Asia. The researchers will shed light on the importance of collective stories, hopes, dreams, and fears in disinformation operations. Meanwhile, the creatives will present their pioneering counter-disinformation works that use the same imaginative elements.


About the Speakers

Dr Madhavi Reddi, PhD, is an assistant professor of mass communication at York College of Pennsylvania and a 2022 graduate of the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. Her scholarship and teaching surround race, media, and culture – particularly examining questions of identity and representation of South Asian Americans in media and politics.

Dr Rachel Kuo is currently an Assistant Professor of Media and Cinema Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She researches race, social movements, and digital technology. She is a founding member and current affiliate of the Center for Critical Race and Digital Studies and also a co-founder of the Asian American Feminist Collective, where she is co-editing the anthology Black and Asian Feminist Solidarities.

Lan Li is a third-year PhD student in Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the United States. Lan is currently investigating the ways in which digital workers within the online platform economy cope and negotiate with persistent uncertainties and ambiguities that undergird their online freelancing experience.

Dr Fernando A. Santiago, Jr., PhD, is an Associate Professor of History at De La Salle University, Manila, where he also serves as Director of the Southeast Asia Research Center and Hub (SEARCH). He has served previously as Assistant Dean for Research and Advanced Studies at the College of Liberal Arts. His research interests include early 20th-century landlord-peasant relations, Philippine agrarian reform, Filipino “Malay” identity, local history, oral history, and biographies.

Dr Amelia Johns, PhD, is a Senior Digital and Social Media Lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney. Her work spans digital media and citizenship studies, with a focus on young people’s negotiation of racism, political engagement and activism, digital literacy and safety across networked and closed platforms. She is an ARC Discovery grant recipient for the project ‘Fostering Global Digital Citizenship: Diasporic Youth in a Connected World’. She is the author of two books, Battle for the Flag (2015) and Negotiating Digital Citizenship: Control, Contest, Culture (with A McCosker and S Vivienne, 2016). Her upcoming book with Polity Press will examine WhatsApp’s shift from a one-to-one messaging app to a global communication platform.

Kiki Febriyanti is an artist/filmmaker based in Indonesia and is a representative for the Artists for Digital Rights Network. Kiki studied filmmaking by autodidact and has completed the John Darling Fellowship 2015 “Visual Anthropology” at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. She has directed several short and documentary films focused on gender, human rights and cultural topics.

Francis Kristoffer L. Pasion is a Senior History Researcher at the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. He is also a Master in History at the University of the Philippines Diliman, pursuing research on the institutional history of government. Currently, he is the head of the NHCP’s Local Historical Committees Network Secretariat, and assists in all the state commemorations led by the NHCP.


This hybrid event is open to the public and will be held at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS).

Attending the Event In-person at ISEAS

To join the event in-person at ISEAS, please register via the ISEAS mobile app, available on iOS and Android via the Apple or Play store. Search “ISEAS” to find or scan this QR code.

Apple Store

Play Store

Seating capacity is limited. Do register early to avoid disappointment.

Attending the Event Virtually via Webinar

To join the event virtually at the specified date and time using your internet devices, please register here to receive your unique login link for the webinar via the zoom platform.


Dec 01 2022


9:30 am - 11:00 am


ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore