Pre-conference Event

Watch the panel recording here.

Special Pre-conference Event: Social Media Under the Bonnet

Wednesday 16 June, 18:00-19:00 BST. Special ACM WebSci’21 panel, chaired by Professor Lucy Hooberman.

Facebook has been in the news a lot in the last year. In fact, in the last five years since 2016 there have been repeated attempts to get behind the algorithms to understand conclusively what impact this Tech Giant can have on its many, many followers. Consequences, unforeseen perhaps, but very real of the admixture of big data, artificial intelligence and psychometric profiling, can activate and mobilise people to behave in ways to suit interests that are not always in their best interests. This panel will look at the realpolitik of how the influencing of elections, propagating hate, creating echo chambers and social divisions and the PYMK algorithm coming into full view are driving political and social outcomes worldwide. What can be done by researchers and legislators in different disciplines to cut through and make a difference?

This panel brings together the evidence of a very powerful documentary case study by Dr Charles Kriel and Katharine Gellein with the newest and most focussed research-based analysis by leading academic Professor Sinan Aral and Damian Collins MP, one of the most hands on politicians when it comes to the public face of penetrating questions (and former Chair of the UK’s DCMS Select Committee on Fake News and Disinformation from 2016 – 2019).

Watch the film People You May Know on Amazon Prime. Conference registered attendees will be sent a complimentary live link and password to watch the film in advance from 12 June. Watch the trailer here.

Conference registered attendees can also join a Conference Workshop on Tuesday 22 June from 14:30-16:30 BST with the filmmakers, Dr Charles Kriel and Katharine Gellein, to learn how to turn your research into film to influence people and change the world!

Further information

To register for the full conference visit our registration site. Registration is £50 for the full 5 days.

Read the book The Hype Machine by Sinan Aral and listen to the HBR Exponential View Podcast with Professor Aral and Azeem Azhar.

Read the DCMS Select Committee Final Report on Fake News and Disinformation here.