15 May 2023 17:00 - 18:30 Syndics Room 17 Mill Ln. Cambridge CB2 1SB


Hierarchies of Hate: The History and Context of Online Disinformation.

A presentation by Prof. Shakuntala Banaji (LSE), followed by an informal Q&A.

Is it true that all those who go online receive more hate than those who are unconnected to social media? Are global tech platforms controlling hate adequately through algorithms and AI-based moderation? And is hateful misinformation largely a matter of media illiterate publics and a rise in mobile phones? Connecting half a decade of empirical research into the circulation of disinformation and misinformation about minoritised and racialised groups in countries as disparate as Brazil, India, Myanmar and the U.K. with histories of colonial and caste violence, this talk examines the intersectional politics of hate online through close textual analysis and interviews with experts in the field, amongst whom are many who encounter most hate online. This evidence is analysed to delineate a clear hierarchy of hate that is both local and international. The underlying political economic and ideological roots of this avalanche of violent disinformation must be understood and subjected to critical analysis in order to move towards liveable and just futures.

The Speaker

Shakuntala Banaji is Professor of Media, Culture and Social Change and director of the Master’s programme in Media, Communication and Development in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Winner of multiple teaching awards including the fourth European Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Social Sciences and Humanities, and the Diener Prize, Professor Banaji has been teaching for three decades. Her research about political and social imaginaries, children, youth, media, technology and change spans an interest in film audiences, news and new media including, but not confined to, the ways in which civic participation, creativity and agency are entangled with and inflected by histories of injustice and the political economy of media conglomerates. Her recent books include Social Media and Hate (with Ram Bhat, Routledge, 2022); Youth Activism in Europe (with Sam Mejias, Palgrave, 2020) and Children and Media in India: Narratives of Class, Agency and Social Change (Routledge, 2017).

The Organisers

This talk is hosted by the Cambridge Technology and New Media Research Cluster and made possible by the Cambridge Digital Humanities Institute and the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge.

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