Conspiracy Theories - A threat to democracy?
ZOOM starts at 6.00pm
A Media Society Online Event
Dangerous online conspiracy theories have led to mass shootings, anti-vaccination refusal protests, and death threats to politicians and celebrities around the Western World.
The crazy-sounding QAnon theory has over 4.5 million followers. Polling in the US suggests 56% of Trump voters believe that QAnon theory is mostly or partly true. While in the UK, the ‘Replacement Plan’ is believed by 31% of Brexit voters (i.e. about 5,397,330 people). ?
What responsibility do media operators of all kinds have here; should they ‘no-platform’ these people, report them, but with health warnings, denounce them or educate their audiences about how Conspiracy Theories work?
- John Naughton - Observer columnist and Cambridge University academic
John is the Technology columnist of The Observer, and the Senior Research fellow in CRASSH – the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Services and Humanities at Cambridge University, where he’s been a Principal Investigator on a five-year international project on ‘Conspiracy and Democracy.’
- James O'Brien - LBC Talk show host
James is a well known English radio presenter, podcaster and author . Since 2004 he has presented a talk show on radio station LBC, hosting a phone-in discussion of current affairs, views and real-life experiences.
His latest book, 'How not to be wrong' was published by Penguin Books in October 2020.
Marianna Spring - Specialist Disinformation and Social Media Reporter at BBC News
Marianna is a specialist disinformation reporter and has investigated lots of misleading stories circulating online during the pandemic. Marianna is also the specialist reporter covering disinformation and social media for BBC News and BBC World Service.
Bronte Lord - CNN producer
Bronte is a producer with CNN Business in New York. She covers innovation, space and technology. Her most recent reporting, written with colleague Richa Naik, follows a former QAnon believer as he emerges from the virtual cult and reckons with the damage it has done to his relationships with friends and family.
Web link here.
Having worked for the Guardian and Buzz Feed, James is now the Global Editor at The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and a columnist for The New European. He has written several books including 'Post-Truth' and 'The Bluffocracy'. His latest book, 'The System', was published in May 2020.
Photo in title credit: Stephanie Keith/Reuters
Entry tickets are £10 each which helps cover our costs.
We will be making a number of free tickets available for students and anyone currenty un-waged.
The Media Society is a volunteer run Charity committed to open access for all our Media themed events.
ZOOM waiting room open at 5.45p. for 6.00pm PROMPOY START.
Conversation starts at 6.00pm prompt.