Presentation Title

Public Opinion Formation in the Digital Age: How Tribalism and Political Fury are Manufactured through Social Media Microtargeting.

Biographical Sketch

Julie Frechette, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at Worcester State University, in Massachusetts, where she teaches courses on media studies, critical cultural studies, media education, and gender representations. Her most recent book, Media Education for a Digital Generation (Routledge Press, 2016), provides a framework for developing critical digital literacies by exploring the necessary skills and competencies for engaging students as citizens of the digital world. She is also the co-editor and co-author of the book Media In Society (Bedford / St. Martin’s Press, 2014), as well as numerous articles and book chapters on media literacy, critical cultural studies, and gender and media. Her book, Developing Media Literacy in Cyberspace: Pedagogy and Critical Learning for the Twenty-First Century Classroom (Praeger Press, 2002), was among the first to explore the multiple literacies approach for the digital age. She serves as co-president of the Action Coalition for Media Education, a national organization that champions critical media literacy education.

Type of Presentation

Individual presentation

Brief Description of Presentation

This paper will discuss the need for critical digital media literacy education curricula and initiatives to help apprise students, parents, and educators of data mining services by big tech giants to influence democracy and commerce through microtargeting, political partisanship, and tribalism.

Abstract of Proposal

Since its inception, one of the central tenets of critical media literacy education has been institutional analysis, namely understanding the political and economic power of those who own and control our media systems. While corporate and legacy media have clearly defined owners and producers, few people understand the architecture and practices of new digital media systems. Political elections and public opinion are being shaped by sophisticated means that involve data mining, algorithms, microtargeted ads, psychographics and surveillance. Today, ad buyers and political groups alike can select and target audiences based on a series of personal markers that can include a user’s geo-location, political leanings, and a series of personal interests. Ranging from as many as 1.5 billion daily users of social networks to as few as 20 people, microtargeting services can weaponize ad technology to try to influence consumer and voter behavior in any demographic area. This paper will discuss the need for critical digital media literacy education curricula and initiatives to help apprise students, parents, and educators of data mining services by big tech giants to influence democracy and commerce through microtargeting, political partisanship, and tribalism.

Location

Session 5D (Habersham, Hilton Garden Inn)

Start Date

2-23-2019 10:15 AM

End Date

2-23-2019 11:45 AM

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Feb 23rd, 10:15 AM Feb 23rd, 11:45 AM

Public Opinion Formation in the Digital Age: How Tribalism and Political Fury are Manufactured through Social Media Microtargeting.

Session 5D (Habersham, Hilton Garden Inn)

Since its inception, one of the central tenets of critical media literacy education has been institutional analysis, namely understanding the political and economic power of those who own and control our media systems. While corporate and legacy media have clearly defined owners and producers, few people understand the architecture and practices of new digital media systems. Political elections and public opinion are being shaped by sophisticated means that involve data mining, algorithms, microtargeted ads, psychographics and surveillance. Today, ad buyers and political groups alike can select and target audiences based on a series of personal markers that can include a user’s geo-location, political leanings, and a series of personal interests. Ranging from as many as 1.5 billion daily users of social networks to as few as 20 people, microtargeting services can weaponize ad technology to try to influence consumer and voter behavior in any demographic area. This paper will discuss the need for critical digital media literacy education curricula and initiatives to help apprise students, parents, and educators of data mining services by big tech giants to influence democracy and commerce through microtargeting, political partisanship, and tribalism.