July 12, 2017: Public lecture by Dr. Michał Kosiński at UdK Berlin

Event: Can Social Media Influence Elections?

Time: July 12, 2017 from 18.30 – 21.00

Place: Universität der Künste, Hardenbergstraße 33, 10623 Berlin

Register: By filling out the form here or send an email to ue.rhicnull@eciffo


18:30-19:00 Welcome

19:00-20:00 Keynote lecture “Digital footprints: Predicting psychological traits from social network data”

Dr Michał Kosiński, Assistant Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business, USA

20:00-21:00 Panel Discussion

  • Dr. Michał Kosiński, Stanford University, USA
  • Joanna Bronowicka, Director, Centre for Internet and Human Rights
  • Anne Roth, Activist, Hacker and Researcher, Die Linke, German Bundestag
  • Prof. Dr. Jörg Heiser, Director Institute for Art in Context, Universität der Künste
  • Dr. Anja Mihr, Director, HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Center on Governance through Human Rights (Moderation)

About the keynote lecture:

A growing proportion of human activities such as social interactions, entertainment, shopping, and gathering information are now mediated by digital devices and services. Such digitally mediated activities produce an unprecedented amount of digital footprints that can be used to reveal our intimate traits, emotions, and predict future behavior. Given the progress in Artificial Intelligence and computing, we should get ready for the future where privacy is a privilege reserved for the few.

As described in a widely read article by Das Magazin, Dr. Kosiński’s research on predicting psychological traits from social network data was purportedly used by Cambridge Analytica to target voters on social media in campaigns in favor of Brexit and Donald Trump. What lessons can we learn from these campaigns about the future of political advertising? Do we need additional measures to protect our privacy online and right to vote? The lecture by Dr. Kosiński will be followed by a discussion with experts on data and politics.

About the series: Elections in the Digital Age

Has technology changed the way we vote? Why do populists succeed on social networks? What is the impact of hacking and leaks on elections? Should fake news be regulated? Can microtargetting political ads change how people vote? As the German federal elections are approaching, we want to see what lessons can be learned from recent elections in US and Europe.

If you are interested in the topic, you can join the discussion with other Berlin-based experts organized by the Centre for Internet and Human Rights. The CIHR is a vibrant hub for academic research about technology and society. Our goal is to inform current public and academic debates by producing high-quality research grounded in theory and empirical data.