Research Manager, Stanford Internet Observatory
Renée DiResta is the technical research manager at Stanford Internet Observatory, a cross-disciplinary program of research, teaching and policy engagement for the study of abuse in current information technologies. Renee investigates the spread of narratives across social and media networks, with an interest in understanding how platform algorithms and affordances intersect with user behavior and factional crowd dynamics. She studies how actors leverage the information ecosystem to exert influence, from domestic activists promoting health misinformation and conspiracy theories, to the full-spectrum information operations executed by state actors.
At the behest of SSCI, Renee led an investigation into the Russian Internet Research Agency’s multi-year effort to manipulate American society, and presented public testimony. A year later, she led an additional investigation into influence capabilities that the GRU used alongside its hack-and-leak operations in the 2016 election. Renee has studied influence operations and computational propaganda in the context of pseudoscience conspiracies, terrorist activity, and state-sponsored information warfare, and has advised Congress, the State Department, and other academic, civil society, and business organizations on the topic.
Renée regularly writes and speaks about technology policy, and influence operations. She is an Ideas contributor at Wired and The Atlantic. Her tech industry writing, analysis, talks, and data visualizations have been featured or covered by numerous media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Yale Review, Fast Company, Politico, TechCrunch, Wired, Slate, Forbes, Buzzfeed, The Economist, Journal of Commerce, and more. She appeared in the documentary The Social Dilemma.