Spotting Bullshit: Social Media Manipulation

Due to current COVID restrictions, this event has a capacity of 20 attendees. Registration required via EventBrite.  Please do not arrive before 12.30 hrs. If you have not registered, please do not travel to the campus but watch our event online. Livestream details to follow.

Bullshit is all around us. Sometimes it is easy to spot, but our brains can be tricked!
In this series of lectures we will need some tools to spot when we are being
manipulated through mental trickery.

Social Media Manipulation: The deconstruction of a like

Why is a simple like or share of a social media post not as innocent or neutral as it seems? Youngsters get depressed for not getting likes, Eric Garner’s last words ‘can’t breathe’ went viral and unleashed the Black Lives Matter protests and the recent drillrap clashes came to a climax because of the popularity on social media. The masses’ likes and shares on social media can be quite disruptive to society, especially when it misinforms or polarizes debate. Yet, Facebook claims it merely exists to connect people.

Social media companies have engineered social media to make a profit from their users. It’s not just a service, it’s a business. What will happen to public debate and to democracy if we let ourselves be influenced and steered by for-profit multinational tech-giants? And if we naively believe our social media interactions don’t have real consequences?

Michael Klenk is a lecturer in ethics and the philosophy of technology at the TPM faculty, TU Delft. His research covers foundational topics about the nature of morality, moral change, and moral knowledge. Recently he has been researching topics in the ethics of technology (related to social media) and business ethics.

SG Presents: The Spotting Bullshit Series

Bullshit – roughly, the deliberate or accidental spreading of untruths – is all around us. It’s a thing of all ages, but it’s very possible that we are living in THE age of bullshit. Peak bullshit, as it were. Sometimes it is easy to spot, but our brains can be tricked!

In this series of seven interactive lectures, Studium Generale will tackle the issue head on and offer you some tools to spot when we are being manipulated through mental trickery. Join these lectures and inoculate yourself against fake news, logical fallacies and other manipulations, and become a beacon of independent, rational and critical thought!

The Spotting Bullshit lecture series will be held on Tuesday between September 22 and December 15 2020 during lunchtime (12:40-13:30) in the main hall in the TU Delft Library. Registration is required via EventBrite or you can tune in via livestream (check our website or socials for the links). These activities are free of charge.

Visit the locations website here.