Presenter: Martina Pennisi

The advent of social media and news reporting on a global scale have produced a new way of interpreting reality, upsetting the balance of truth and the credibility of what the Internet creates and disseminates. Internet Festival will address the issue of digital information through the investigation of fake news, online red herrings and the controversial post-truth phenomenon, named Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries 2016. What role does digital play in relations between citizens and institutions? IF2017 will be investigating whether digital democratic mechanisms are up to date, and asking whether the Internet is driving and redesigning the phenomenon of participation and the political and social dynamics of society. In an increasingly important attempt to understand which direction the mass mood is moving, polls seek, with varying success, to capture the trends of those who spread, modify, shape and exercise democracy and opinions in a form never before experienced.


15:00-15:30 // KEYNOTE SPEECH

From alternative facts to fake news and post-truth

Speaker: Annamaria Testa


15:30-16:00 // KEYNOTE SPEECH

The answer is inside you but (sometimes) it’s wrong

Speaker: Dino Amenduni


16:00-16:30 // KEYNOTE SPEECH

The democracy of the click

Speaker: Alessandro Dal Lago


16:30-17:00 // KEYNOTE SPEECH

Protecting privacy and democracy in a micro-controlled world

Speaker: Vesselin Popov

Democracy has a new digital landscape, one which is being rapidly transformed by three little-understood yet increasingly popular technologies. Big data, psychological prediction and microtargeted advertising might have the power to sway elections by using voters’ online behaviour to understand and influence their political motivations. Indeed, ongoing investigations into the US presidential election and the Brexit referendum suspect that these techniques might already have had this impact. Conjecture aside, these techniques are real. They have a scientific basis and their academic roots can be traced to research done by the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre. In 2013, before anyone in marketing or politics had heard of psychographics, the Centre demonstrated that it was possible to predict intimate psychological traits from social media data. Expanding this research to other digital footprints, the potential for highly accurate and efficient psychological assessment using computers is now undeniable and is at the heart of ongoing debates regarding how we ought to regulate electoral processes in an ever-connected world. Vesselin Popov will explain the origins of this science and discuss its implications for the future of democracy, presenting a view on what ordinary citizens can do to defend themselves from algorithmic manipulation.


17:00-17:30 // KEYNOTE SPEECH

“Digital propaganda”: Political communication in the age of disintermediation

Speaker: Massimiliano Panarari


17:30-18:30 // PANEL

Final round table

Speakers: Annamaria Testa, Dino Amenduni, Alessandro Dal Lago, Vesselin Popov, Massimiliano Panarari


Teatro Verdi
Via Palestro, 40, Pisa, PI, Italia
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