The Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism & The Signals Network are organizing a panel on February 15, 2024 at 4pm to discuss what journalists should know when working with whistleblowers in the tech sector, especially when the whistleblowers are women/people of color.
Panelists Anika Collier Navarolli (Twitter whistleblower), Sophie Zhang (Facebook whistleblower) & Erika Cheung (Theranos whistleblower) will talk about their experiences working with journalists & coming forward as whistleblowers in the tech sector. Nabiha Syed (The Markup CEO) will moderate the discussion to highlight lessons learned & best practices so journalists are better equipped to work with future whistleblowers.
This panel will be followed by a reception.
For all settings, the University continues to strongly recommend that affiliates stay home if they feel unwell & isolate according to CDC guidelines if they test positive for COVID-19.
Anika Collier Navarolli is a writer, lawyer & researcher focused on the intersections of technology, media, policy, & human rights. She is currently a Senior Fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, a Public Voices Fellow on Technology in the Public Interest with The OpEd Project in partnership with The MacArthur Foundation, & a 2023 Unicorn Fund awardee. For the last decade her work has spanned from inside tech companies & centers of research to advocacy organizations & classrooms.
Erika Cheung is the executive director of Ethics in Entrepreneurship, a non-profit whose mission is to foster ethical questioning, culture, & systems in startups & startup ecosystems. The media extensively covered her as a key whistleblower in the Theranos scandal. She reported the fraud case to regulators preventing the company from providing false lab results to patients.
Sophie Zhang became a whistleblower after spending 2 years & 8 months at Facebook failing to fix the company from within. A data scientist on the fake engagement team, she also worked in her spare time to personally catch two national governments using Facebook to manipulate their own citizenry, while also revealing concerning decisions made by Facebook regarding inauthenticity in Indian & U.S. politics. After testifying regarding her findings to the EU & British Parliaments & CA State Senate, she currently stays home to pet her cats.
Nabiha Syed is the chief executive officer of The Markup, an award-winning journalism non-profit that challenges technology to serve the public good. Before launching The Markup in 2020, Nabiha spent a decade as an acclaimed media lawyer focused on the intersection of frontier technology & newsgathering, including advising on issues around the Snowden revelations & the Steele Dossier, access litigation around police disciplinary records & privatized services, as well as privacy & free speech issues globally. Described by Forbes as one of the best emerging free speech lawyers, she has briefed two presidents on free speech in the digital age, delivered the Salant Lecture at Harvard, headlined SXSW to discuss data privacy after Roe v. Wade, & was awarded the NAACP/Archewell Digital Civil Rights award in 2023 for her work.
The Signals Network (TSN) is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to holding power to account by supporting whistleblowers & the newsrooms who share their stories. Founded in 2017 by journalists, whistleblowers & lawyers, TSN operates internationally to shed light on wrongdoing & strengthen the news & information ecosystem. TSN provides customized support to a selected group of whistleblowers who have contributed to reports of significant wrongdoing & injustice. This support may include legal, psychological, physical safety, temporary safe-housing, online safety, career support & communication support.