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Event: Social Media Disinformation and Narratives (13 June 2023)


Date: 13 June 2023
Time: 14:00 – 16:00 CEST
Location: Sciences Po campus, Paris

Online disinformation and conspiracy theories are often marked by their highly idiosyncratic content, their decentralised nature, and their emergence in the so-called “fringes” of the web. These features raise significant methodological challenges for researchers aiming to study them empirically. Within the framework of the DE FACTO Project, this médialab seminar is hosting Tom Willaert (Vrije Universiteit Brussel / EDMO BELUX) and Armin Pournaki (Sciences Po médialab). Based on experiences gained in recent studies and investigations, this inter-EDMO presentation explores the methodological aspects of the study of online conspiracy theories, disinformation, and antagonistic narratives with computational methods.

The talk will first address questions of sampling and content analysis by discussing a study on Dutch-speaking antagonistic communities on Telegram conducted in the context of the EDMO BELUX project. In particular, the presentation will focus on how networks of associated, antagonistic Telegram channels can be identified in an inductive manner, and how we can detect thematic evolutions in the messages that figure in these channels. The second part of the talk will dive into the more general question of narratives and how to operationalise the concept in order to extract narrative traces from text. To this end, an initial methodological  approach and tools developed in the EDMO BELUX sister project SoMe4Dem (Horizon Europe Social Media for Democracy) will be presented.

Register and find out more about the event here!