Whitney Phillips keynote speaker
Whitney Phillips keynote speaker

Whitney Phillips

Expert on digital communication & Ethics

Speaker Themes

  • Mis- and dis-information in the digital age
  • 21st century political communication
  • Digital ethics
  • The relationship between digital media and extremism and polarization

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Whitney Phillips is an assistant professor in the Communication and Rhetorical Studies department at Syracuse University, where she teaches classes on media literacy, mis-and disinformation, political communication, and digital ethics.

She is the author of 2015’s This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture (MIT Press), which was awarded the Association of Internet Researchers’ Nancy Baym best book award.

In 2017, she published The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, Oddity, and Antagonism Online (Polity Press), co-authored with Ryan M. Milner. She is also the author of the three-part ethnographic study “The Oxygen of Amplification: Better Practices for Reporting on Far Right Extremists, Antagonists, and Manipulators,” published in 2018 by Data & Society.

Her third book, also co-authored with Ryan M. Milner, titled You Are Here: A Field Guide for Navigating Polarized Speech, Conspiracy Theories, and Our Polluted Media Landscape, was published in 2021 (MIT Press) and is currently being adapted for a Young Adult edition.

In addition to a dozen journal articles and book chapters on a range of communication, technology, and media studies topics, Whitney Phillips is a columnist at WIRED magazine and has written numerous popular press pieces for publications such as The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Slate.

She regularly provides expert commentary for national and global news stories, as well as ethics consultation for journalism outlets.


The pandemic and 2020 US Presidential election are just two recent examples of how the internet can catalyse mis- and dis-information, and create a hyper polarised political landscape.

Whitney’s cutting-edge research sheds light on how these destructive dynamics function, and what we can be done by individuals, business leaders and policy makers to counter them.

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