Social Media and Elections Around the Globe
The unprecedented weaponizing of social media sites has led to the rise of disinformation campaigns around the globe, distorting and shaping public opinion, and affecting public policy, elections, governments, civil society, and democratic processes. At least 70 countries around the globe have been affected by social media manipulation. The Philippines, for example, has been called “patient zero” when it comes the weaponization of social media during the 2016 elections. Since then, disinformation campaigns have led to the genocide of Rohingya in Myanmar, false information regarding Brexit, and Russian interference in the U.S. elections. The panel discussion aims to: provide the historical context and political analysis of propaganda in the age of social media; discuss how social media is weaponized by disinformation campaigns; examine the role of social media companies and governments in promoting and combatting disinformation; and equip participants with media literacy tools.
Anthony Nadler is Associate Professor of Media and Communication Studies at Ursinus College and Research Fellow at Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia University. His research focuses on conservative news, media and populism, and debates surrounding targeted advertising and civic culture in a digital media landscape. He is the author of Making the News Popular (University of Illinois Press, 2016) and co-editor of News on the Right: Studying Conservative News Cultures (Oxford University Press, 2019).
Jonathan Corpus Ong is Associate Professor of Global Digital Media at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the 20-year-old media studies journal Television & New Media. He has published 2 books and over 20 journal articles in his research areas of global media ethics, digital politics, and the anthropology of humanitarianism. His latest research takes a production studies approach to digital disinformation studies as he writes about social identities and moral justifications of producers of “fake news”.
Kimber M. Quinney is Assistant Professor of History at California State University San Marcos. She is an historian of American foreign relations. Her research explores the ways in which U.S. national identity and Americans at large (both immigrants and citizens) are affected by the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. She is especially interested in the nexus between national security and democracy. Relevant publications include “Teaching the History of the Cold War through the Lens of Immigration” (The History Teacher, 2018) and “The Balancing Act: Security, Freedom, and Privacy from Reagan to Trump” in Understanding and Teaching Recent American History since 1980 (University of Wisconsin Press, forthcoming).
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