Bad Information Banner. Exploring How Mis/Disinformation Works and Why it Matters.

Bad Info: Fake News, Manipulated Photographs, and Social Media Influencers focuses on media/information literacy and the problem of mis/dis-information. The series of events will examine

  1. the differences between fakeplatforms that manifest as real news outlets and credible news sources;
  2. the role of images as evidence on digital platforms, while providing a historical context for understanding how photography has always grappled with manipulation;
  3. social media influencers’ use of psychological appeals in concealing advertising as unbiased information.

The project includes a series of exhibitions and workshops, keynote addresses and panel discussions, and film screenings.

Upcoming Events

Fall 2021

Exhibit - Glass Room Misinformation

Oct 25 - Nov 21 Van Pelt and Opie Library
Glass Room: Misinformation Edition explores how social media and  the web have changed the way we read information and react to it.  It exposes new types of influencers, the new and old tactics they  use, and the role we as the users and consumers play in the way  information flows and changes within that flow. It also examines  the relationship between personal data, targeting and opinions,  views and behaviors, as well as the business models behind it. 

Keynote and Reception - “The True Costs of Misinformation,” Dr. Joan Donovan

Director, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, Harvard University
Oct 27, 5:30-8pm Van Pelt and Opie Library
Dr. Donovan is a leading public scholar and disinformation researcher, specializing in media manipulation, political movements, critical internet studies, and online extremism. The talk will explore the ways in which social media companies are trying to patch the holes in a failing sociotechnical system, where the problems their products have created are now shouldered by journalists, universities and health professionals, just to name a few. It will further promote discussion about what can be done to restore moral and technical order.

Film and Discussion - After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News (2020)

Oct 28, 6:30-8:30pm Fisher 135
Join us for screening of HBO's film "After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News" (2020). The film offers a look at the ongoing threat caused by the phenomenon of "fake news" in the U.S., focusing on the real-life consequences that disinformation, conspiracy theories, and false news stories have on the average citizen. The screening will be followed by a discussion featuring Dr. Briana Bettin, Department of Computer Science; Dr. Sue Collins, Department of Humanities, and Dr. Stefka Hristova, Department of Humanities.
Free Admission.

Interactive Discussion - Popping the Filter Bubble

Nov 3, 5-7pm Van Pelt and Opie Library
Discussion facilitators, which include faculty, lecturers, and staff from a range of departments on campus, will each present relevant research to help participants better understand the role of algorithms, information filtering, and strategies to work around them. They will then lead small-group discussions on each topic so that participants can actively engage with and manage the flow of information around them. 

41 North Film Festival

The Viewing Booth (2019) Nov 5, 5-6:30pm
Storm Lake (2021) - Art Cullen and Beth Levison Nov 5, 7:30-9:30pm
Writing with Fire (2021) Nov 6, 4-5:45pm
Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts

Keynote - “Misinformed about the 'Infodemic? Science's ongoing struggle with misinformation,” Dr. Dietram Scheufele,

Taylor-Bascom Chair and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Nov 10, 5-7pm Van Pelt and Opie Library
Dietram A. Scheufele is the Taylor-Bascom Chair in Science Communication and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in the Morgridge Institute for Research. His work examines the social effects of emerging science and technology. Scheufele currently co-chairs the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication and the consensus study committee on Addressing Inaccurate and Misleading Information about Biological Threats.
This talk cautions against thinking about potential interventions primarily in ways that operationalizes being “misinformed” in terms of individuated evidence-incongruent beliefs. Most importantly, informational interventions targeted toward recipients of information underappreciate (a) the power of algorithmically targeted (mis)information, and (b) the policy complexities surrounding uncertain, emerging science.

Film - The Social Dilemma (2020)

Dec 2,  8:30-10pm Fisher 135
Join us for screening of "The Social Dilema" (2020). The film reveals how social media is reprogramming civilization with tech experts sounding the alarm on their own creations.

Spring 2022

RTC Colloquium - Communicating, Misinformation, and Disinformation

Feb 14, 4-5:30-7pm North Mezzanine, Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts

Workshop - Search Like a Fact Checker

Feb 17, 2-3pm Van Pelt and Opie Library

Workshop - Archives and Questions of Truth

Feb 24, 6-7:30pm Van Pelt and Opie Library

Film - Feels Good Man (2020)

March - TBD Fisher 135

Panel Discussion - Reinventing Journalism in the Age of Disinformation

Apr 6, 5-7pm Van Pelt and Opie Library

Exhibit - Photography in Black and White

Apr 1 - Apr 30 Copper Country Community Art Center

Keynote and Reception - Nick Brandreth, Photographer and Artist

Apr 7, 5-7pm Copper Country Community Art Center

Workshop - Detecting Manipulated Photographs

Apr 21, 5-6:30pm Copper Country Community Art Center