Course Details

CAMS 100: Media & Misinformation

While the relationship between media and misinformation is not new, rapid technological change, including the emergence of major social media platforms, has resulted in an information environment where we are constantly confronted by conspiracy theories, manipulated statistics, doctored images, hyperpartisan clickbait, questionable ‘research’ studies, and everything in between. Left unchecked, this flow of misinformation can exacerbate social inequalities and undermine trust in the foundations of a democratic society. This course explores how misinformation spreads across a variety of networked media channels and examines the technical, social, and economic structures that enable this spread. Using current events to ground our inquiry, we will investigate topics such as algorithmic bias and recommendation systems; the evolution of conspiracy theories; memes and visual disinformation; media manipulation tactics; and the cultural capital of social media influencers. We will also develop best practices that can help orient us within our increasingly polluted information environment.  
6 credits; AI, WR1; Offered Fall 2021; D. Pavlounis