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Town Hall Seattle: Civics Series

Town Hall’s Civics series highlights everything from local policies to world politics. These events offer perspectives on a range of topics as diverse as Seattle itself—a bustling forum for activism, discovery, and thought-provoking discussion.

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May 12, 2024

As we head into another presidential election year, few issues feel as pressing as the spread of political misinformation. How can political campaigns fight back against the barrage of lies and disinformation?

As time, tension, and technology all progress in our world, we’re not always prepared for the acceleration and its impact on the political climate. The public can often be left to weed through a seemingly endless digital news cycle and the task of differentiating between fact, misinformed fictions, and intentional disinformation. As the population faces the high-stakes election season once again, Sasha Issenberg turns a critical lens toward the complicated landscape of the American political institution, rising incentives, and the ever-expanding social media landscape.

A decade after his last dive into social science and modern political analysis in his book The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns, Issenberg returns to expand more on the behind-the-scenes mechanics of politics. His newest book The Lie Detectives: In Search of a Playbook for Defeating Disinformation and Winning Elections urges readers to understand more from a range of high-level journalists, strategists, critics, and political operatives in their efforts to grapple online misinformation. From digital forums of anonymous amateurs to high-visibility government and party officials, the challenges and tactics at play throughout cyberspace have expansive reach and real-world consequences. The Lie Detectives pulls to the forefront the political class striving to tackle these issues as they emerge, and what the threat of disinformation could mean for democracy, especially at pivotal times.

Sasha Issenberg is a journalist and author who has been published in New York, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, and George, where he also served as a contributing editor. He teaches at the UCLA Department of Political Science and is a correspondent for Monocle. His previous books include The Sushi Economy and The Engagement: America’s Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage.


Austin Jenkins is a staff writer at Pluribus News, covering tech policy and other issues in state legislatures. He is also the longtime host of “Inside Olympia” on TVW, the state’s C-SPAN network. Previously, Austin spent nearly two decades as the Olympia correspondent for Northwest NPR stations.


Buy the Book

The Lie Detectives: In Search of a Playbook for Winning Elections in the Disinformation Age

Third Place Books