Propaganda & Disinformation - Level 1 (Beginners)
What you'll learn
- You will understand be able to define terms like propaganda, understand some basic theories and concepts
- You will understand important historical contexts and cases
- You will understand the impact of changing technology and media
- You will learn how to analyze simple texts and images
- You will understand some proposed solutions and equip yourself for a misleading world
- No existing knowledge required, just enthusiasm!
Today's online environment is toxic for our democracy, from 'dark patterns' to 'deep fakes' - citizens need new knowledge to navigate safely and discern what's fake or real. It helps to know the threats lurking out there - to ensure ourselves, let alone our children, can navigate safely. This course is designed for citizens wanting to understand more about propaganda, its history, and how to recognize and avoid ‘fake news’ and tactics of deliberate manipulation. It will also introduce new techniques used by advertisers and how private data can be used in misleading contemporary campaigns and for targeting propaganda in the democratic process. By the end of the course, you will feel confident with the language used to discuss these issues in the media and political debates, and will understand some of the important history, theories and concepts. You will understand some of the proposed solutions and will be more equipped to navigate a misleading world.
The course will be taught through a series of video and text lectures, with accompanying readings, quizzes and other assignments. The lectures will start by introducing the basics: 'What is Propaganda?', then will illuminate some of the classic theories, thinkers and important histories as you acquire an understanding of key techniques and practices, after this we will explore contemporary propaganda including the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal, technology and data in politics, and finally we will consider the many solutions which have been proposed to help strengthen democratic systems in the light of these important contemporary challenges. I hope you enjoy the course and choose to check out my online presence for more information.
Who this course is for:
- Citizens wanting to know how to recognize and avoid ‘fake news’ and tactics of deliberate manipulation
- Citizens wanting to understand the role of propaganda in the democratic process
- Students considering studying a deeper Media, Communication or Political Science course
- Those considering a career in Marketing, PR or Journalism
- Anyone wanting to understand more about advertisers and internet companies use of their data
Dr. Emma L Briant is a scholar who researches contemporary propaganda and information warfare, and its governance in an age of mass-surveillance. Dr. Briant regularly contributes journalism and op-eds to major news outlets and has two books Bad News for Refugees, (Pluto Press, 2013, co-authored with Greg Philo and Pauline Donald) and Propaganda and Counter-Terrorism: Strategies for Global Change (Manchester University Press, 2015). She has served as advisor for several documentary films including, as Senior Researcher for Oscar-shortlisted Netflix film ‘The Great Hack’. She is now finalizing her third book Propaganda Machine and working on a fourth the co-edited Routledge Handbook on the Influence Industry with Vian Bakir, Bangor University, UK.