• Cult-E. Data, Capitalism and Reality

    (Ulises Mejias, SUNY Oswego)

    This Seminar is available to all students. No background required.  Recommended for students interested in media and internet studies

    With the emergence of fake news, has social media gone from a supposed tool of liberation to a tool of control? This seminar will examine the evolving nature of information in the context of digital media networks, looking at how the Internet has strengthened the power of political actors to create disinformation and mistrust. It is no longer only the state-supported media monopoly that produces and disseminates propaganda. Citizens themselves actively participate in their own disenfranchisement by using social media to generate, consume or distribute false information, contributing to a new order where disinformation acquires increasing authority. The seminar will compare disinformation practices across political systems, examining how old and new media are engaged in the production of propaganda. The argument will be made that it is an adherence to neoliberal market principles that  explains why disinformation is becoming a feature in both democratic and non-democratic societies.

    Topics:
    1. Introduction to Critical Internet Studies
    2. Comparative Studies in Truthiness: From Russia to the USA
    3. The Politics of Algorithms
    4. Capitalism, Media and Digital Networks
    5. Fake News and the Death of Journalism
    6. Decolonizing Data