Annual Lecture 2021: Disinformation in an Information Age: Ireland’s Response to a Global Challenge - Remarks by Paul Quigley

Pagespp 194 - 197
Published date12 January 2022
Date12 January 2022
Remarks by
I am very excited to be back among lawyers. I took a detour into the world of tech
and entrepreneurship about nine years ago. I was an attorney for ve years prior to
launching NewsWhip. What drove me to launch NewsWhip was, I found myself
reading a lot of news on my computer at work instead of writing motions and
briefs. I was always trying to nd the most interesting stories.
I am still working on that search to this day, but within the context of NewsWhip.
I thought today would be an opportunity to briey introduce our work and to
look at the wider digital media ecosystem to identify the problems surrounding
What does NewsWhip do?
As we all know we have these wonderful little devices in our pockets. ey have
become the primary news consumption and distribution channel globally over
the last 10 years primarily through the social networks that we access on them.
Facebook is the biggest news distributor in the history of our species by perhaps
100 fold. At their peaks the biggest U.S. news networks might have had night time
viewing of 20 million. Facebook reaches two billion people and in the US 70%
of US adults use Facebook to consume news. It’s quite unprecedented as a news
distribution network.
NewsWhip tracks which stories are going viral. We do not track individuals, we do
not use cookies, but we do use metrics to see which pieces of content, stories and
social posts are the ones driving attention. We have developed predictive models
that show how big each and every story is likely to become. We monitor media
interest and public interest in every topic in the world. Our technology is global
and is used by signicant PR agencies, the World Health Organization, universities
and various multinational corporations. Because we detect which stories are going
viral, we are not in the business of helping take down misinformation. Rather, we
are in the business of supporting those who are drowning out misinformation with
reliable information. We show reliable journalists and organisations which stories
* Paul uigley is CEO and cofounder of NewsWhip, a technology that monitors and predicts
news engagement in real time. Backed by the Associated Press, NewsWhip is used by thousands
of journalists and communicators in 50 countries to spot emerging stories, understand crises and
issues, and create high impact media and content plans. Before founding NewsWhip, Paul was
an attorney, and he holds law degrees from New York University and Trinity College Dublin. He
is a winner of the Emerging EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Eir Spider Awards, and the
PRovoke Innovator 25. Any views or opinions expressed in this piece are the personal views and
opinions of the author.

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