Vid Simoniti: "Digital Images and Democracy"

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: Zoom (contact Irene Martinez Marin for link)
  • Organiser: Department of Philosophy
  • Contact person: Irene Martinez Marin
  • Seminarium

The Higher Seminar in Aesthetics

Vid Simoniti, The University of Liverpool: "Digital Images and Democracy: Grounds for Optimism?"

Images play a big role in “digital democratic pessimism”: the view that the recent digitalization of media harms democracy. For example, deepfakes—convincingly false videos—blur the lines between truth and lies; memes are used by extremist movements as a new form of propaganda; Instagram and TikTok shorten our attention spans. Philosophers and political scientists alike have pointed out at ways in which these new image forms can be harmful for our political processes and cognition. Here I will explore a more optimistic view: that new uses of digital images can strengthen democracy. I focus on online communities that are not just passive consumers of images, but also image-producers and image-verifiers. By strengthening such active roles, can we meet the challenges that digitalization poses to democracy?