“Fake News” as Infrastructural Uncanny

Speaker: Jonathan Gray # King’s College London; Speaker: Liliana Bounegru # University of Oxford; Speaker: Tommaso Venturini # CNRS

2nd Apr 2019

12:30 - 15:00

Room G.10, Drummond Library (Geosciences) High School Yards

Drawing on the Public Data Lab’s work on the Field Guide to “Fake News”, this talk will examine how the social disturbance precipitated by “fake news” can be viewed as a kind of infrastructural uncanny. We suggest that the threat of problematic and viral junk news can raise existential questions about the routine circulation, engagement and monetisation of content through the web and social media. Prompted by the unsettling effects associated with the “fake news” scandal, we propose methodological tactics for exploring;

(i) the link economy and the ranking of content,
(ii) the like economy and the metrification of engagement, and
(iii) the tracker economy and the commodification of attention.

Rather than focusing on the misleading content of junk news, such tactics surface the infrastructural conditions of their circulation, enabling public interventions and experiments to interrogate, challenge and change their role in reconfiguring relations between different aspects of social, cultural, economic and political life.

All welcome. No charge. 

For further information please contact the organiser: Dr Morgan Currie, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies