The polarization of social media discussion by online propaganda (including misinformation and disinformation from human trolls and bots) is the subject of growing public concern, particularly because of its possible disruptive effects on Western elections. This seminar will present a method of polarization analysis based on interactions among Twitter users in the context of Brexit. The speakers will also consider the need to clarify what we mean by polarization as a process and an outcome. Can we accurately identify social media actors? Does polarizing content seek to provoke political disruption and change?
About the speakers
Lucas Kello is Associate Professor of International Relations at Oxford University. He serves as Senior Lecturer/Director of the Centre for Technology and Global Affairs, a major research initiative exploring the impact of modern technology on international relations, government, and society. He is also co-Director of the interdisciplinary Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security at Oxford’s Department of Computer Science.
Alice Thwaite is the founder of Hattusia and a technology ethicist. She holds a MSc from Oxford University in the Social Sciences of the Internet, and a MA Cantab from the University of Cambridge in the History and Philosophy of Science. Alice specialises in healthy information environments. She is the founder of the Echo Chamber Club and is the author of philosophical theories relating to technology, conflict and disagreement. She is often called upon to review issues relating to disinformation, polarisation, content moderation, advertising and data ethics.
Lunch will be provided from 12.15pm