Politics and communication in the big data era
On May 31st and June 1st, we will be celebrating DataPolitik2023, the 3rd Conference on Politics and Communication in the Era of Big Data, organized by the Heurística association and the Technopolitics research unit - IN3/UOC, in collaboration with UBICS. The conference is an invitation to transdisciplinary dialogue on the transformations of communication and the grammars of social interaction resulting from the popularization of digital platforms.
We will hold the roundtable discussion "Navigating Elon's Land: What to do in the face of Twitter's collapse?". It will feature the participation of Project Una and Heurística, with Carlos del Castillo moderating the debate.
📍 Al Centre Cívic Cotxeres de Sants. Carrer de Sants, 79, 08014 Barcelona.
The morning will be dedicated to the presentation of quantitative and qualitative studies and projects on online political communication. The workshop is specifically aimed at young researchers currently working on their doctoral thesis or final master's project. The goal of the workshop is to provide an active and constructive forum for debate. Participants will have the opportunity to share their research projects and receive feedback from a multidisciplinary panel of experts in the form of suggestions, alternative theoretical and methodological approaches, or relevant bibliography. After lunch, we propose three participatory workshops: racism, climate crisis, and experimenting with opinion dynamics using ChatGPT.
📍 Al Centre Cívic Ateneu Fort Pienc. Plaça Fort Pienc, 4, 08013 Barcelona.
Politics and communication have been transformed in the information age. The popularity and innovation in the use of online social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter have not only enabled an increase in the number of actors who can disseminate political, commercial, and other types of messages to a massive number of potential recipients, but they have also produced transformations that affect the entire public sphere.
These transformations have led to a dual dynamic: on one hand, the processes of communication disintermediation and self-communication of the masses, which have disrupted the traditional influence map of the media, have gone hand in hand with the emergence of new communities and media practices; on the other hand, new forms of mediation and concentration of power (economic, political, social...) have appeared that escape the democratic control mechanisms developed within the classic framework of mass media (legal and institutional frameworks, self-regulation practices, etc.).
However, this new world that we were just beginning to understand seems to be coming to an end. While we observe a decline in classic platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, new platforms like TikTok and BeReal, which primarily attract a young audience, have marked a shift in the way content is consumed and shared. A new phase with new forms of communication and challenges to face is emerging.
The effects are manifold. Perhaps the most evident is the growing desire for the rapid monetization of classic platforms, which directly affects the algorithmic prioritization of content and, consequently, the world experienced by users. The slow but inexorable collapse of Elon Musk's Twitter is the clearest example of these dynamics, which will be the focus of the first line of debate in this edition of DataPolitik2023.
While in their early stages, social platforms have been utilized by marginalized collectives and emerging social movements to organize and amplify their discourse, in their mature phase, counter-hegemonic discourses have gained prominence.
How these two dynamics will be affected in the new phase we are experiencing, as well as the possibilities opened up by alternative platforms of communication and digital democracy to enhance online deliberation, will be the focus of the second line of debate in these sessions.
Lastly, a third line of discussion will address the impact on the online communication sphere of chatbots and artificial intelligences in general.
Among the difficulties in advancing the project of improving these communicative dynamics online, the lack of socialization of existing scientific knowledge regarding the mechanisms of production, reproduction, and consumption of information in the digital environment, as well as its relationship with traditional media and modes of interpretation, stands out.
Scientific research in the field of information dissemination and misinformation has made significant progress in recent years, breaking disciplinary boundaries and generating new theoretical frameworks based on data. Disciplines from the fields of social sciences and humanities, such as social psychology, communication science, sociology, and political science, have joined forces with disciplines from the natural sciences and computer science, such as complex systems physics, network theory, and machine learning, to leverage the vast amount of data produced by online social interactions with the aim of developing a transdisciplinary scientific understanding of phenomena emerging at the intersection of communication networks and opinion formation processes.
DataPolitik2023 is a moment of sharing, building cooperation lines, and socialization for researchers, communication agents, and interested citizens. DataPolitik2023 is a moment of sharing, building cooperation lines, and socialization for researchers, communication agents, and interested citizens.
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Politics and communication in the big data era: critical approaches from the social sciences, comple...
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