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Shaping Opinions in the Age of Digitalization

We live in an information society. Thanks to digitization, it has never been so easy to access and exchange a wide range of information in a very short time. But with the triumph of social media, classic media that work according to the quality standards of journalism have been pushed into the background. Information can constantly reach us that is often not checked for its actual truth content and is sometimes circulated in a deliberately distorted form. In addition, there are mechanisms in the digital world that are designed to filter information for us and narrow our view as a result of the preselection made. In order to find one’s way through the jungle of information and not to give false news false credence, various skills are required, which will be taught in our workshop.

Training agenda

The course “Opinion Formation in the Age of Digitalization” has a modular structure. The following contents are taught:

Module 1 “Influence of AI on opinion formation”

  • how do algorithms work?
  • how filter bubbles and echo chambers develop
  • how do social bots work?

Module 2 “Fake news/targeted disinformation”

  • how do trolls and troll factories organize themselves?
  • Basics of the phenomenon of fake news
  • How can fake news be recognized?

Module 3 “Conspiracy Theories

  • what are the common conspiracy theories?
  • What is a sensible way to deal with people who believe in conspiracies?

Learning targets

  • The participants are able to critically question information from the Internet. Possible attempts at manipulation and possible false reports are recognized.
  • The participants have developed a sense for possible influences. They are aware of the danger of conspiracy narratives.
  • Participants will be able to name various factors and mechanisms that influence our view of the world.
  • Participants will be able to name the success of conspiracy narratives and the danger they pose.
  • The participants are able to develop a strategy for subjectively assessing the accuracy of news and reports and, if necessary, to investigate them further.
  • Participants will be able to recognize and classify conspiracy narratives.
  • The participants are able to look at information from the Internet critically and to question it.
  • The participants are able to recognize manipulation attempts.
  • The participants are able to distinguish false information from correct information.

Contact person

Julius Kunath

0351 4250294