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Nihilism and Technology: The Social (Media) Construction of Truth

Thursday, 11 July 2019, 5 – 7pm

Nihilism and Technology: The Social (Media) Construction of Truth

A lecture by Dr Nolen Gertz (University of Twente) organised by the ADAPT Centre.

In 1710, Jonathan Swift claimed that “falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it.” If so, then concerns surrounding the dangers to democracy posed by social media platforms seem to have less to do with the nature of the media or of the platforms and more to do with the nature of the social. However, as Nolen Gertz will show, Facebook encourages users to constantly post content in order to be social, and to constantly post content likely to get attention in order to remain social, then Facebook encourages users to share attention-grabbing content. Consequently, Facebook users spread fake news, not because they don’t care about what they are sharing, but because they care about being social, which, thanks to the influence of Facebook, means they care about being seen by the algorithm. If we want to remove fake news from social media platforms then we must begin by understanding how these platforms influence us, how these platforms shape what “truth” means.

Campus LocationTrinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Centre
Accessibility: Yes
Room: Neill Lecture Theatre
Event Type: Lectures and Seminars
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public

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