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CALL FOR ABSTRACTS for the Seminar ‘The Hybridization of Conspiracy Theories, Misinformation and Extremism on Social Media’


The call for submissions is now open for the seminar ‘The Hybridization of Conspiracy theories, Misinformation and Extremism on Social Media,’ scheduled for May 16-17 at the University of Copenhagen.  The deadline for submitting abstracts is March 1, 2024.





About the Seminar

 

The insurrection against the US Capitol on January 6th 2021 marked a culmination of online conspiracy theories, including PizzaGate and QAnon, and different strands of misinformation about election results, COVID-19 vaccines, and climate change, persistently circulating on social media. Significantly, insurrectionists did not come together under the banner of a single ideological cause. Instead, today’s landscape of extremism is shaped by what researchers and intelligence services variably call ‘salad bar extremism’, ‘fused extremism’, ‘DIY extremism’ or ‘hybridized extremism’.


The algorithmic and transmedial infrastructure of social media plays a significant role in the development and spread of many conspiratorial and extremist narratives online and enables them to enter the mainstream public discourse, accelerated by intense news reporting in legacy media. Under these conditions, seemingly everything can be adopted into conspiracy narratives which cater to both nationalist right-wing extremists, religious fundamentalists, New Age bohemians and anti-authorities skeptics across the political spectrum.


This seminar invites presentations that consider the hybridity of this contemporary landscape of conspiracy theories, misinformation and extremism theoretically and/or empirically, e.g., through case studies of specific online communities and narratives, memetic media, influencers and celebrities on social media. 

 

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

 

-        Extremism and memetic culture

-        Extremism on different platforms (Facebook, X, TikTok, 4Chan, Telegram etc.)

-        The relationship between conspiracy theories, fandom and popular culture

-        Algorithms and the spread of hate and false information

-        Genres and aesthetics of extremism and conspiracy-content

-        Platform policy and content moderation

-        Anonymity online and ‘secret’ or hidden online spaces

-        Digital affordances and digital practices in communities engaged with conspiracy theories, misinformation and extremism. 

 

Please submit your abstract of max 200 words and an author bio of max 100 words to organizers Associate Professor Line Nybro Petersen and Postdoc Mikkel Bækby Johansen at socialmediaextremismseminar@gmail.com before March 1, 2024. Participants will be notified by March 15, 2024. 


The location for the event is the Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics at Copenhagen University (UCPH), situated at Emil Holms Kanal 2, 2300 Copenhagen S.

 

The seminar is part of the ongoing Horizon Europe-project (2023-2026) SMIDGE: Social Media Narratives: Addressing Extremism in Middle Age led by UCPH and De Montfort University, Leicester.



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