Undergraduate Module Descriptor
SOC3139: Social Media, Disinformation, and Authoritarianism
This module descriptor refers to the 2023/4 academic year.
|Term(s) and duration|
This module will run during term 1 (11 weeks)
Dr Susannah Crockford (Convenor)
|Available via distance learning|
While it may seem that social media is a neutral platform for sharing information, it can also create, enable, or encourage disinformation. Social media companies like to portray ‘connection’ as an unambiguous social good. However, the process of forming connections online can also have negative effects. In this module, we ask whether people are radicalised via social media, and if it can even lead them to violence. The racial and gender dynamics of social media are explored, and how it varies with culture, language, and nationality. Authoritarian regimes around the world have also employed social media extensively, in this module we investigate how it is used to spread falsehoods and conspiracy theories that enable such regimes to seize or maintain power illegitimately and even mobilise violence against opponents. This topic will appeal to students of the social sciences, politics, and science and technology studies, and it is suitable for interdisciplinary pathways. There are no prerequisites.