IACAP 2017 CFA Special Announcement: IT and Democracy

Dear Colleagues,

After many discussions about how best to respond to the selective Muslim travel ban in the U.S.–about which please see http://www.iacap.org/the-muslim-travel-ban-and-iacap-2017/–IACAP’s executive board has among other things opted to create a special track at IACAP 2017 (Stanford University, June 26-28) on Information Technology and Democracy, viz., the corrupting or preserving roles IT has played and could play, and the roles IT ought to play.

Submissions for the Information Technology and Democracy track in the form of extended abstracts (800+ words) should be submitted by March 15th via https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=iacap2017. Decisions will be made by April 15th.

Topics might include, but certainly are not limited to,

1. The fabrication and dissemination of “fake news”:

  • Fabrications created/disseminated through social media and blogs.
  • News-like advertising.
  • Conflict of interest in advertising and editorial processes.
  • The obligations of social media companies.

2. The creation of “alternative facts” in a “post-truth” world:

  • ‘Truth’ and the authoritarian uses of IT.
  • Exploiting confirmation bias.
  • Creating readily manipulable online communities.
  • The epistemic obligations of citizens.

3. The role of IT in evidence-gathering and verification:

  • Manipulating photographic and video evidence.
  • IT methods of creating and preserving trust.
  • Protecting and disseminating scientific data.
  • System hacking, leaks, and the obligations of whistle-blowers.

4. Trolling:

  • Trolling vs. engaging in online discussion.
  • Anonymity and sowing distrust.
  • Political and corporate online astro-turfing.
  • Protecting and promoting online democratic deliberation.

5. Democratic processes:

  • Poll-monitoring.
  • Digital voter verification.
  • Trust in voting mechanisms.
  • Online plebiscites.

6. Technology, protest, and political resistance:

  • Online civil disobedience.
  • Creating and coordinating protest movements.
  • Democratic controls on Big Data in massive digital surveillance.
  • Digital footprints and citizen vulnerability.