Conflict and algorithmic vulnerabilities in the attention factory
Tuesday 12 December, 2023at 13:30 - 14:45
Emotions are a commodity in today's media landscape, or "attention factory": algorithms are coded to prioritise content that generates the most reactions from users. Often, conflict-prone topics are the most reactive because they engage both proponents and opponents. While universities are keen to promote research on current topics that are likely to attract attention, researchers are at risk of attacks on social media or even threats on their physical safety. How are researchers affected by the attention factory and what are the consequences of communicating research on social media in times of widespread disinformation and growing mistrust?
Using real-life examples, Katja Valaskivi, University of Helsinki, discusses the vulnerabilities that the attention factory generates for researchers and concludes with a discussion on alternative ways of communicating research that are based on dialogue rather than marketing.