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Conspiracy Theories, Extremism, and TikTok: A Conversation with a Disinformation Researcher

Tuesday, November 30, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST

Conspiracy Theories, Extremism, and TikTok: A Conversation with a Disinformation Researcher

Presented by Peter Adams, Senior Vice President, Education, News Literacy Project; and Abbie Richards, TikToker and TikTok Disinformation Researcher
Moderated by Shaelynn Farnsworth, National Director of Educator Outreach and Success, News Literacy Project

Sponsored by News Literacy Project

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Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation. Get a CE Certificate for this edWebinar Learn more.

From QAnon to pandemic-related beliefs, conspiracy theories are increasingly part of mainstream discourse and public awareness. Many conspiracy theories take hold via social media such as TikTok, Facebook and Twitter, posing a particular threat to young users who can easily fall down rabbit holes and even get drawn into extremist ideologies. However, social media also hosts a number of influencers and resources devoted to combatting misinformation and disinformation, including the popular @tofology TikTok channel created by TikTok disinformation researcher Abbie Richards.

In this edWebinar with Peter Adams, the senior vice president of the News Literacy Project, and Abbie Richards, viewers learn how to recognize conspiratorial thinking patterns and pitfalls and common strategies employed online by conspiracy theory adherents. They also explore the connection between conspiratorial beliefs and extremist ideologies. Viewers gain an understanding of the stakes posed by conspiracy theories and receive guidance on effective educational resources related to this topic, including Abbie’s popular conspiracy theories chart.

This recorded edWebinar is of interest to teachers, librarians, and school and district leaders of the middle school, high school, and higher education levels. 


Peter AdamsAbout the Presenters

Peter Adams is the News Literacy Project’s senior vice president of education and has been with the organization since 2009. He began his career in education as a classroom teacher in the New York City schools. He has also worked as a trainer with the New York City Teaching Fellows Program, a youth media after-school instructor in the Chicago public schools and an adjunct instructor at Roosevelt University and Chicago City Colleges.


Abbie Richards

Abbie Richards is a TikToker and a TikTok disinformation researcher. She specializes in understanding how misinformation, disinformation, and extremism spread on TikTok and she creates educational content which explains these complex issues to a wider audience. She’s built a multi-platform following and has been recently verified on TikTok. Abbie is known for work like her Conspiracy Chart, her QAnon 101 series, and her research and videos tackling radicalization on TikTok. Abbie is a graduate student and is also the co-founder of EcoTok, an environmental Tiktok collective.


Shaelynn FarnsworthAbout the Moderator

Shaelynn Farnsworth is the News Literacy Project’s National Director of Educator Outreach and Success. Shaelynn has over 20 years of experience in education. She spent the first part of her career as a high school English teacher in Conrad, Iowa, where she reimagined teaching and learning in her classroom and became a leader in the convergence between literacy and technology. Shaelynn focused on developing student skills in information consumption, creating innovative ways for students to demonstrate understanding, and inspiring healthy skepticism in the digital age. She was recruited by a regional state education agency in Iowa, where she was a school improvement consultant for seven years. Shaelynn supported districts throughout Iowa in the areas of literacy, technology, AIW, and systemic change. She was a member of the state’s literacy, social studies, and technology leadership teams. Shaelynn holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in English from the University of Northern Iowa.


Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation.

Join the News Literacy community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

News Literacy Project

The News Literacy Project is a nonpartisan national education nonprofit, providing programs and resources for educators and the public to teach, learn and share the abilities needed to be smart, active consumers of news and information and equal and engaged participants in a democracy.

News Literacy Project


Tuesday, November 30, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST
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