Information Warfare & Computational Propaganda

General intro

With the expansion of the web and social networks, a new type of war is underway. The fighters? Trolls hired by states or recruited by terrorist groups. The enemy? Countries, political parties or opponents, commercial companies, civil society organizations or movements. The weapons? Online services to buy thousands of fake profiles and subscribers, likes and comments, specialized tools to build fake sites or operate fake social network accounts. The ammunition? Millions of automated posts and tweets that hijack public debate, AI-produced visuals, etc. The territories to conquer? Our brains.

Learning objectives

This course aims to introduce participants to the new information wars trhat are waged through social networks, to raise their awareness regarding their impact on public opinions and democracies, and to explore potential solutions.

Targeted skills

  • Discover small and large-scale online propaganda and disinformation tactics and campaigns in social networks
  • Understand the different tools and techniques used by online trolls and belligerents, as well as their impact on public opinion and the exercise of democracy
  • Develop one’s critical thinking by using some tools and techniques to spot social bots and fake accounts.