FALR’s ‘Distorting the Truth’ Symposium to Bring Together Foremost Scholars for Interdisciplinary Look at Fake News


By: Lindsie Trego, Symposium Editor (Vol. 16)

Only 38 days separate us from FALR’s 2017 Symposium: “Distorting the Truth: ‘Fake News’ & Free Speech.” As co-symposium editor, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk a little more about what we at FALR have planned for the symposium.

Fake news is a ubiquitous topic in today’s political and cultural environment. A quick Google search for the term reveals more than 8 million results. But what does “fake news” mean? What impact does it have on our culture? Does the law have a role to play?

When my co-editor John and I were thinking through how we wanted the symposium to fit into this conversation, we knew we wanted to focus on the law, but we also wanted to recognize the interdisciplinary nature of the topic, as it certainly hasn’t only dominated the legal news. Symposia often do the important work of bringing together foremost scholars to impact how the legal community thinks about an issue. But in the best case scenario, legal scholars, social scientists, and professionals converge to inform each other and impact how one another think about an issue.

Because fake news isn’t just a legal issue, “Distorting the Truth” will bring together eminent legal scholars such as Richard Hasen from UC Irvine and Helen Norton from University of Colorado; social scientists such as Deen Freelon from UNC and Emily Thorson from Syracuse; and practitioners such as Angie Holan from PolitiFact and Ashley Messenger from NPR.

The diversity of our panelists is sure to foster conversations that will examine the law while also considering broader contexts, better informing the symposium as a whole. We are so excited to see the lively debate that is sure to ensue!

Over the next few weeks, we will feature each of our speakers on Twitter and Facebook to give you a glimpse of what to expect from the symposium. Be sure to follow us to keep up, and check out the full list of speakers here.

You only have 30 days left to purchase in-person tickets for the symposium, which include lunch catered by the Carolina Club! And there are only 36 days left to purchase tickets for the live webcast of the symposium! Grab them while they’re here!


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