and online media play a pivotal role in both uniting and dividing communities – ranging from hope during the emergence of democratic movements against authoritarian regimes to threats to political stability in democratic countries posed by increasing polarization fueled by disinformation, anger and fear.
As we navigate the complexities of such developments, understanding the forces that foster or fracture social cohesion is more critical than ever. However, research in this field faces severe challenges, for instance, due to questions of privacy, limited data access from platforms, the need for highly specialized computational knowledge, and costly analysis capabilities.
This international symposium marks a significant milestone – the end of the SMO’s first four-year funding phase. During that time, the SMO consolidated as a provider of curated datasets and knowledge collections, for technological infrastructures to continuously monitor of public discourses online, and for specialized analysis tools. With our upcoming five-year funding period in sight, we invited an excellent selection of internationally renowned scholars in the field of social media research asking for their take on indicators of social cohesion in their works.
The event will be held in English.
Information on registration will follow shortly.
Program of the Symposium
The Symposium will kick off with a Context Collapse, an alternative keynote format that encourages networking and sparks discussion amongst the audience.
Impulse presentations by:
Dr. Mykola Makhortykh, University of Bern
Dr. Aleksandra Urman, University of Zurich
Dr. Meg Jing Zeng
, Utrecht University
Moderation: Jan Rau
, RISC Section Hamburg
Dynamics of Destructive Polarization in Mainstream and Social Media
Prof. Dr. Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology
Online-Communication and Challenges for Social Cohesion. Alternative (Social) Media and the Dissemination of Distrust and Conspiracy Theories
Prof. Dr. Lena Frischlich, University of Southern Denmark
Social Media and Polarization: From Opinions to Identity
Prof. Dr. Petter Törnberg, University of Amsterdam
Preliminary program (PDF) (Status: 02/22/2024)