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The Social (Media) Construction of Truth | Trinity College Dublin ADAPT Centre

  • Trinity Long Room Hub Trinity College Dublin Dublin 2 Ireland (map)

In 1710, Jonathan Swift claimed that “falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it.” If so, then concerns surrounding the dangers to democracy posed by social media platforms seem to have less to do with the nature of the media or of the platforms and more to do with the nature of the social.

However, as Nolen Gertz will show, Facebook encourages users to constantly post content in order to be social, and to constantly post content likely to get attention in order to remain social, then Facebook encourages users to share attention-grabbing content. Consequently, Facebook users spread fake news, not because they don’t care about what they are sharing, but because they care about being social, which, thanks to the influence of Facebook, means they care about being seen by the algorithm. If we want to remove fake news from social media platforms then we must begin by understanding how these platforms influence us, how these platforms shape what “truth” means.

Earlier Event: June 7
Act Natural 04 Special Opening Event