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Hacking Democracy: What Social Media is Doing to US Politics

Event Description

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram—some of which did not even exist a decade ago—are playing an increasingly central role in politicians’ efforts to get elected. What does this mean for the American voter?

Join political scientist Travis Ridout to explore the pros and cons of social media in political campaigns. While social media use gives citizens access to a wealth of information, it also exposes them to messages that are carefully tailored and targeted in a highly sophisticated manner. More ominously, social media can be used to psychologically manipulate voters in unprecedented ways, beyond the fact-checking and scrutiny of the news media spotlight.

How real is this latter possibility as we head toward the 2020 presidential campaign? Learn how politicians – and foreign spies – are using social media and personal data to their advantage.

Travis N. Ridout is the Thomas S. Foley Distinguished Professor of Government and Public Policy at Washington State University. Ridout’s research on political campaigns has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, and in the Journal of Politics. Ridout’s most recent book is Political Advertising in the United States.

Ridout lives in Pullman.

  • When
  • November 21, 2019
    7:00 pm
  • Where
  • Spokane Valley Library
    12004 E Main Ave Spokane, WA 99206 United States
  • Who
  • Travis Ridout
  • Host
  • Spokane County Library District
About Speakers Bureau Events

Speakers Bureau talks are free public presentations on history, politics, music, philosophy, and everything in between. Humanities Washington’s roster of presenters are professors, artists, activists, historians, performers, journalists, and others—all chosen not only for their expertise, but their ability to inspire discussion with people of all ages and backgrounds. All talks are free and open to the public, and each lasts about an hour. They are hosted through a wide range of organizations throughout Washington State.

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