23.1. Asta Zelenkauskaite: Creating chaos online – How did we get there and what can we do about it? 
23.1. 14.15-16.00 guest lecture by Asta Zelenkauskaite (Drexel University) at Helsinki Collegium (Fabianinkatu 24), 3rd floor.

Asta Zelenkauskaite from Drexel University holds a guest lecture at the Helsinki Collegium (Fabianinkatu 24, 3rd floor) on 23.1. at 14.15-16.00. Refreshments will be served after the talk. You are warmly welcome! The lecture is arranged by Helsinki Research Hub on Religion, Media and Social Change (Heremes).

Creating chaos online: how did we get there and what can we do about it?

 

With the prevalence of disinformation geared to instill doubt rather than clarity, Creating Chaos Online unmasks disinformation when it attempts to pass as deliberation in the public sphere and distorts the democratic processes.  

This talk covers sociopolitical contexts in which Russian trolling emerged; its interpretative manifestations online through repeated tropes of justifications and the way Russian trolling justifications tapped onto post-truth to circulate the recurrent tropes across not only all analyzed media platforms’ comments but also across two analyzed sociopolitical contexts suggesting the orchestrated efforts behind messaging and its effects to publics conceptualized in the talk as post-publics.  

Specifically, the talk focuses on sociotechnical practices specific to analyzed online spaces. The first one examines cross-platform social media content. The second one captures sociopolitical specificity: tracing user-generated content not only in the left-leaning media contexts but also by including US far-right and evangelical media ecosystems. The third one includes cross-validation of content across national cases. Such a cross-platform and cross-national analysis shows how Russian trolling justifications tapped onto post-truth to circulate the recurrent tropes across not only all analyzed media platforms’ comments but also across two analyzed sociopolitical contexts suggesting the orchestrated efforts behind messaging. 

Finally, the talk provides a social literacy toolkit to make sense of the complex content circulation online. 

Open Access link to the book: https://www.press.umich.edu/12237294/creating_chaos_online

Dr. Zelenkauskaitė is an associate professor at Drexel University. Her research focuses on emergent practices in online spaces that are traceable through digital meta data and discourses. Her work encompasses computational social science approaches by employing interdisciplinary perspectives that intersect information science, discourse studies, and communication. She is affiliated with the Center for Science, Technology & Society and Information Science departments at Drexel University and Dr. Zelenkauskaitė holds an affiliation with Vilnius Tech University (Lithuania). Her work has been published in New Media & Society, Social Media & Society, Convergence, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, and First Monday, among others. She is an author of Creating Chaos Online: Disinformation and Subverted Post-Publics (University of Michigan Press, 2022).