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Exhibition | "Digital disinformation as a contestation of liberal societies" at Mall Anders

Jun 07, 2022 - Jun 11, 2022

Organized by the Knowledge Exchange Lab at SCRIPTS, this exhibition at Mall Anders in Berlin explores disinformation in liberal societies. What is disinformation, what facts? How do we decide what to believe? A programme of talks, the open forum, will round off the exhibition on 11 June.

Exhibition

Fake news plagues our democratic elections, and disinformation on social media deepens divisions in our society. The digitalisation of human connection powers a technological ecosystem that capitalizes on our clicks, likes, and shares. Data on what we do online is collected, and advertising is tailored to our personal preferences. Social media algorithms are deliberately designed to create an environment where disinformation can go viral. What is the role of democracy in our media and information order?

Organized by researchers at the Cluster of Excellence “Contestations of the Liberal Script (SCRIPTS)”, this exhibition explores: What is disinformation? What are facts? How do we decide what to believe? We present the technological, social, and political dimensions of the phenomenon: how information can be manipulated, how bad actors and corporate interests can influence our behaviours and opinions, and how social media can capture our attention. We also share insights on how to protect our data, our opinions, and our behaviours from interference. As citizens of a liberal society, we need diverse information and a plurality of opinions to make informed decisions.

A programme of talks, the open forum, will round off the exhibition on 11 June, 3:00 - 6:00 pm.

Exhibits

1. What is disinformation?

An informed public is the basis for a strong and vibrant democracy. We need trustworthy information and facts to form our own opinions. Misleading and false information becomes dangerous when it aims to deliberately deceive and influence people and when it is deliberately spread. This station explains the difference between disinformation and other forms of manipulated information.

2. Disinformation 101

The reality of global warming, the effectiveness of vaccinations or the health risks of car exhaust have one thing in common: the scientific basis is regularly distorted in political discussions. This happens on Facebook, Twitter & Co. as well as in internet blogs, in parliamentary speeches or in personal conversations. For us, the rhetorical tricks used to manipulate public opinion are often hard to spot. This station explains the commonly used strategies of the "fog machine" of disinformation.

3. What is "fake news?"

This station defines and introduces the concept of fake news as a sociopolitical phenomenon.

4. What is a conspiracy theory?

Conspiracy theories, often directed at governments, portray some groups as powerful and malicious. This station will explain how we can use fact-checking on social platforms to expose and stop the spread of conspiracy theories.

5. What is a "deep fake" and how should we deal with deep fakes? 

Deep fakes are realistic-looking media content (photos, audios, and videos) that have been altered and distorted using artificial intelligence techniques. This station discusses the nature of deep fakes and how to detect and prevent their spread.

6. What are automated "social bots?"

How can we tell that a social media user is human? This station includes four key questions we can ask to find out if a social media account is an automated social bot.

7. Disinformation in the Bundestagswahl 2021

This station looks at the spread and nature of disinformation and relates to the 2021 Bundestagswahl. What kind of disinformation was there? Who was behind this type of messaging? Did the disinformation campaigns influence the outcome of the election? The poster dives deep to understand the extent of the disinformation problem in the German political system.

8. Dark Room: Why is it so hard to stop scrolling on the phone?

In the interactive "Dark Room," visitors inside can immerse themselves in the online world of their cell phones. The accompanying poster explains why it is so difficult to stop "scrolling down" on social media or other websites.

About the "Mall Anders".

The temporary learning lab Mall Anders (located in the shopping mall Wilma Shoppen in Berlin-Charlottenburg) was initiated by the universities of Berlin and is funded by the Berlin University Alliance until the end of June 2022. The learning lab in the style of a pop-up store leaves the spatial context of universities to intertwine with Berlin's urban and civil society innovatively and experimentally. So far, this new meeting place has offered students and local actors the opportunity to think about pressing issues of our future, to discuss proposed solutions, and sometimes to test them directly on a small scale. Since December 2021, a wide range of events on various topics has been taking place there. The Mall Anders has a model character for further projects of knowledge exchange as well as the visibility of the Clusters of Excellence of the Berlin University Alliance and its topics in unusual places.

For further information, visit: https://mall-anders.berlin/

SCRIPTS at Mall Anders

SCRIPTS wants to achieve a knowledge exchange between scientists, civil society, and citizens in the neighbourhood by cooperating with the Mall Anders. As interactive and comprehensible as possible, academics and non-academics alike shall have the opportunity to discuss liberal orders at eye level and to examine its contestations, potentials, and problems. Whether in cooperation with the other Clusters of Excellence of the Berlin University Alliance or on our own, at Mall Anders the cluster wants to bring the topics and research of SCRIPTS to the public and discuss them with an audience as broad as possible. Since SCRIPTS is about social science, it is aiming to interact with civil society in new and experimental ways, discussing and working on broad social challenges with them. In the Mall Anders, the cluster does not simply want to hold lectures or panel discussions but to achieve an exchange of knowledge of the big social issues examined by SCRIPTS by interacting with local actors; for instance, in Science Slams, Meet the Scientist, workshops, and interactive exhibitions.

Attending the Event

Opening hours: daily from 12 pm to 6 pm (12:00-18:00).

Language: German and English.

Admission: Events in the Mall Anders are open to all.

Registration: There is no registration needed.

Pandemic Regulations: Currently there are none.

Accessibility: Barrier-free access, the Mall Anders is on the ground floor, there is a guide system for the blind. There is also a multi-storey car park belonging to Wilma Shoppen.

How to get there: In the immediate vicinity are the Charlottenburg train station (RE, S-Bahn), the Wilmersdorfer Straße underground station (U7) and the Bismarckstraße underground station (U2/U7).

Time & Location

Jun 07, 2022 - Jun 11, 2022

Mall Anders
Ground floor, Wilma Shoppen (former Wilmersdorfer Arcaden)
Wilmersdorfer Str. 46
10627 Berlin