The modern media ecosystem in which the public seeks truthful information and trustworthy sources is increasingly dominated by large-scale online social media and communication platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) as well as messaging apps, which operate alongside traditional news sources. However, at the same time, this hybrid ecosystem is plagued with people’s lack of trust in both content and sources, harassment and hate speech, as well as misinformation and deliberate efforts to spread disinformation.
The quest to improve the online media ecosystem remains extremely important and is in need of concerted research efforts; now more than ever, as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the world is in two battles at once: one against the pandemic and another one against the first global infodemic. The latter is ranked second in terms of importance on the list of World Health Organisation’s focus areas, with dangers ranging from promoting fake cures, rumours and conspiracy theories, to disinformation and panic.
The mission of the Conference on Truth and Trust Online (TTO), now in its second edition, is to bring together all parties working toward improving the truthfulness and trustworthiness of online communications. TTO is an annual forum for academia, industry, non-profit organizations, and other stakeholders to discuss the problems facing (social) media platforms and technical solutions to understand and address them.
Given the ongoing travel restrictions, this year’s conference will be virtual, taking place online on October 16-17, 2020. Details on participation and registration will be announced in due course.
Overall, the intended outcomes of our conference are the following: (i) for academics, to learn about the real problems that industry is facing and how their proposed solutions can be more impactful, (ii) for industry, to improve their product safety by brainstorming collective actions together with other stakeholders, and (iii) for the public, to gain insights into how their concerns on social media safety are being addressed.
Call for Papers and Talk Proposals
We invite submissions of both technical papers and talk proposals (see below for details) on technical solutions for addressing current challenges facing social media platforms on the following indicative list of topics:
- Trustworthiness of COVID-19 news and guidance
- Hate speech
- Online harassment and cyberbullying
- Hyper-partisanship and bias
- Image/video verification
- Fake amplification
- Fake reviews
- Polarization and echo chambers
- Transparency in content and source moderation
- Privacy requirements
The focus of the conference is on identifying what new problems and technical solutions we need to work on, rather than incremental solutions to what we are doing already.
We invite two types of submissions: technical papers and talk proposals:
- Technical papers [August 1, 2020] should contain novel, previously unpublished material related to the topics of the conference and should be limited to 8 pages with unlimited pages for references. Papers should be technical in nature; for instance, authors seeking to publish a position/option paper should rather submit a talk proposal, possibly be accompanied by a blog post. The papers accepted will be presented either orally or as posters. Authors will be able to opt out from inclusion of accepted papers in the TTO proceedings, e.g., if they plan to publish their work elsewhere. Double submissions are allowed, but they should be declared as a footnote on the first page of the paper.
- Talk proposals [August 15, 2020] should be 2 pages long, describing the content of a roughly 20-minute talk (the actual length will be determined based on program constraints). We invite submissions from scholars, activists, developers, lawyers, ethics experts, fact-checkers, public servants, journalists, and all around researchers. TTO attracts world-renowned experts: if you are excited to give a talk to such a group, and you think they would be excited to hear it, then you should submit a proposal.
- Paper submission deadline: August 1, 2020
- Talk proposal submission deadline: August 15, 2020
- Notification of acceptance for both papers and talk proposals: September 15, 2020
- Submit videos for the talks: October 5, 2020
- (Virtual) Conference: October 16-17, 2020
Please note that the deadlines are final and will not be extended.
We encourage wide participation from all interested parties and stakeholders on online media, including academics, startups and large industry, non-profit organizations and governmental institutions.