Mozilla’s ninth-annual festival — slated for October 22-28 in London — examines how the internet and human life intersect
Workshops that teach you how to detect misinformation and mobile trackers. A series of art installations that turn online data into artwork. A panel about the unintended consequences of AI, featuring a former YouTube engineer and a former FBI agent. And a conversation with the inventor of the web.
These are just a handful of the experiences at this year’s MozFest, Mozilla’s annual festival for, by, and about people who love the internet. From October 22-28 at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and Ravensbourne University in central London, more than 2,500 developers, designers, activists, and artists from dozens of countries will gather to explore privacy, security, openness, and inclusion online.
Tickets are just £45, and provide access to hundreds of sessions, talks, art, swag, meals, and more.
Says Mark Surman, Mozilla’s Executive Director: “At MozFest, people from across the globe — technologists from Nairobi, educators from Berlin — come together to build a healthier internet. We examine the most pressing issues online, like misinformation and the erosion of privacy. Then we roll up our sleeves to find solutions. In a way, MozFest is just the start: The ideas we bat around and the code we write always evolves into new campaigns and new open-source products.”
You can learn more and purchase tickets at mozillafestival.org. In the meantime, here’s a closer look at what you can expect:
Hundreds of hands-on workshops
MozFest is built around hands-on participation — many of your fellow attendees are leading sessions themselves. These sessions are divided among six spaces: Decentralisation; Digital Inclusion; Openness; Privacy and Security; Web Literacy; and the Youth Zone.
Sessions range from roundtable discussions to hackathons. Among them:
- “Get the Upper Hand on Misinformation,” a session exploring concepts like confirmation bias, disinformation, and fake news. Participants will also suggest their own tools to combat these issues
- “Tracking Mobile Trackers,” a session that teaches you how to detect — and jam — the mobile trackers that prey on your personal data
- “Message Delayed: Designing Interplanetary Communication Tools,” a session exploring what interplanetary messaging might look like. It’s led by a researcher from MIT’s Media Lab
- “Combating Online Distraction and Addiction,” a session sharing techniques and tools that help us have a more focused and deliberate online experience
- “Build Your own Air Quality Sensor,” a session that teaches participants how to build an open-source device for monitoring pollution in their neighborhood
The MozFest Dialogues & Debates stage features leading thinkers from across the internet health movement. This year, 18 luminaries from France, India, Afghanistan, and beyond will participate in solo talks and spirited panels. Among them:
- “AI’s Collateral Damage,” a panel exploring artificial intelligence’s unintended impact on human rights. Featuring former YouTube engineer Guillaume Chaslot; Social Science Research Council president Alondra Nelson; author and former FBI special agent Clinton Watts; and Mozilla Fellow Camille Francois
- “Data in Oppressive Regimes,” a panel exploring how citizens operate online when surveillance is routine and dissent is dangerous. Featuring Bahraini human rights activist Esra’a Al-Shafei and ARTICLE19 Iran programme officer Mahsa Alimardani
- “Flaws in the Data-Driven Digital Economy,” a talk by Renée DiResta. Renée investigates the spread of disinformation and manipulated narratives across social networks. She is a Mozilla Fellow; the Director of Research at New Knowledge; and Head of Policy at nonprofit Data for Democracy
Can’t make it to London? Don’t fret: You can also watch these talks online at mozillafestival.org
MozFest is always evolving — over nine years, it’s grown from a small gathering in a Barcelona museum to a global convening in the heart of London. This year, we’re excited to introduce:
- Queering MozFest, a pan-festival experience that explores how internet issues intersect with gender and sexuality. Programming will reflect on the relationships between technology, normalisation, and marginalisation
- Gaming MozFest, a game spanning the entire festival. The experience will engage players in various activities throughout the venue, demonstrating the trade-offs we each make when it comes to our personal data
- Art + Data, a gallery of 36 interactive art installations that merge data and art — from ASCII scarves you can actually wear, to startling visualizations of the amount of personal data that’s public online
- Mozilla’s second-ever *Privacy Not Included, a guide to help you shop for private and secure connected gifts this holiday season, will debut as MozFest. Some 70 products will be reviewed to reveal what exactly they do with your personal data
The Festival weekend — Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28 — is where many sessions, talks, and experiences take place. But there’s an entire pre-week of programming, too. MozFest House runs from October 22 to October 26 at the Royal Society of the Arts (RSA) and extends the festival into a week-long affair. MozFest House programming includes:
- A screening of “The Cleaners,” a documentary about the dark, day-to-day activities of online content moderators
- “MisinfoCon,” a one-day conference exploring the spread of misinformation online — and how to fix it
MozFest couldn’t happen without the time and talent of our extraordinary volunteer wranglers. And it is made possible by our presenting sponsor Private Internet Access, a leading personal virtual private network (VPN) service. The event is also supported by Internet Society, the nonprofit working for an open, globally-connected, trustworthy, and secure Internet for everyone.
We hope you’ll join us in London — or tune in remotely — and help us build a better internet. mozillafestival.org
For press passes, please email Corey Nord at firstname.lastname@example.org.