Recent elections in western industrialized democracies have been marred by accusations of interference by concerted social media campaigns that targeted specific demographic categories of voters with disinformation and propaganda. Almost overnight, political advisors, scholars, data analysis professionals, and the social media platforms themselves realized they needed a crash course in the use and abuse of the marriage between predictive analytics and digital content. Through a series of activities and programs on campus featuring a noted expert in digital media manipulation; a graduate student workshop to create curricular modules; a grant-writing workshop; and the development of a new undergraduate course on digital media manipulation, we will give students the tools they need to understand how digital disinformation is created and spreads online, to inoculate themselves against its effects, and ultimately to encourage a responsible digital civics for the social, mobile, always-online connected world in which everything—including our political discourse—now lives.
Digital Extremism: Understanding and Confronting the Alt-right’s Digital Toolkit
A Series of Events featuring Joan Donovan, Digital Media Manipulation Lead, Data and Society
April 4-6, 2018
School of Social Sciences | Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science
Office of Inclusive Excellence Confronting Extremism Initiative
Digital Disinformation and Digital Civics and Inclusion
A Conversation Kitchen with Chef Jessica VanRoo and Joan Donovan
Wednesday, April 4
Anteater Test Kitchen, Anteater Recreation Center
Part of the Climate Council’s Conversation Kitchen series, this event is for UC Irvine undergraduates who want to understand the landscape of the use of digital media to spread disinformation and how to spot malicious content. It will also focus on how to reimagine digital civics for a more inclusive society.
European Americans think of potatoes being the traditional food of the Irish, perhaps because of the potato famines of the 19th Century, precipitating great migrations to America. They think of tomato sauces with peppers with polenta as foods of Southern Italy. However, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, and peppers are all foods from the New World, taken back to Europe after the European invasion of America by Columbus, Cortez, and Pizzaro. The Alt-Right movement denigrates those peoples who gave us this food, as if these foods were always part of a superior European culture. Moreover, when you dismiss the contributions of a people, it’s easy to discount any value that they may bring to the culture. To appreciate the cultures that gave us these foods, we will create a stew of potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and beans, with cornbread.
Event attendance requires an RSVP and ticket. Please visit https://chancellor.uci.edu/campus-climate/conversation-kitchen/ for more information.
Faculty Grant-Writing Workshop for Digital Extremism: Understanding and Confronting the Alt-right’s Digital Toolkit
Thursday, April 5
11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Three visiting scholars from the Université Catholique de Louvain who are working on a “Digital Populism in Europe” project will work with UC Irvine faculty and Dr. Joan Donovan to brainstorm ideas for collaborative grant proposals to support research collaborations on digital extremism.
This event is by invite only. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Confronting Digital Media Manipulation and Extremism: A Dialogue
with Joan Donovan, Data and Society, Digital Media Manipulation Lead; Associate Dean Paul Dourish, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science; Professor Tom Boellstorff, Anthropology, Moderator
Thursday, April 5
3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Free and open to the public.
Recent elections in western industrialized democracies have been marred by accusations of interference by concerted social media campaigns that targeted specific demographic categories of voters with disinformation and propaganda. How is digital disinformation created and spread online? How can we inoculate ourselves against its effects? How can we use the current crisis of trust in digital media, and the role of disinformation in dividing society, to develop a more responsible digital civics? Dr. Joan Donovan of Data and Society will discuss her work as the lead researcher for digital media manipulation and digital platform accountability with Professor and Associate Dean Paul Dourish, Department of Informatics. The discussion will be moderated by Professor Tom Boellstorff, Department of Anthropology.
Graduate Student Workshop for Digital Extremism: Understanding and Confronting the Alt-right’s Digital Toolkit
with Joan Donovan and UC Irvine Technology, Law and Society Graduate Fellows
Friday, April 6
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
This half-day graduate workshop facilitated by Joan Donovan, Digital Media Manipulation Lead at Data and Society, will focus on how to study the tools and techniques of digital extremism. The workshop will be coordinated with Dean Bill Maurer’s NSF-funded Technology, Law and Society interdisciplinary group of graduate students. Graduate students will also work with Dr. Donovan on drafting a curriculum and a set of practical, hands-on exercises for use in the classroom. Open to all interested graduate students. Space is limited to 30 students. Please contact email@example.com to RSVP.