Defense Against the Dark Arts of Mass Manipulation Using New Media: A Practical Introduction

Professors: Waltzman and Weitzenfeld
Units: 1.0
Elective Course
Concentration: Social and Behavioral Science

Social media and the internet (New Media) provide opportunities for mass manipulation of populations at scales of time and space previously unimaginable. Such manipulations adversely affect every aspect of modern life - social, political and economic - and demand appropriate defenses. Defenses must be as flexible and inventive as the dark arts we seek to defend against. They require experiential knowledge of those arts which is exactly what this course provides. Students will get a practical introduction to the tools and concepts necessary to effectively design and execute campaigns of mass manipulation via the dynamic and constantly evolving landscape of New Media. They will learn how to accomplish this using the most meager resources for maximum effects using a variety of approaches suitable for a broad range of actors. Students will learn theoretical foundations from assigned readings. Classroom discussions and exercises will be practical in nature.