Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Social Media Week 2021 – Wednesday

The Rise of Extremist Movements on Social Media:  A Conversation with the Experts

Sponsored by the UTK School of Information Sciences

1:00-1:50 p.m.

In the aftermath of the violent U.S. Capital riots on January 6th, 2021, fringe conspiracy theory communities gained mainstream light. It led to many asking questions, such as: How could such a violent event happen, and what is the role of social media in its coordination?  While many were shocked by the events, the malicious and extreme online behavior that led to the riots is nothing new to the experts. In fact, social media’s impact on the physical world had been warned about well before the events of January 6th. In this panel session, leading researchers in informatics, computer science, and public policy will broadly discuss the roles of social media in extremist movements. Specific topics include the impact of content moderation on major social media platforms, the growth of fringe, alternative social networks, and how both contribute to the spread of disinformation, manipulated media, conspiracy theories, and extremism. Our hope is that this panel creates awareness and healthy discussion among the UTK community about the dangers of unchecked social media platforms.

Moderator: Dr. Ben Horne

Panelists: Dr. Jeremy Blackburn, Dr. Cody Buntain, and Dr. Joan Donovan


Tips and Tricks of the Influencer Economy

3:30-4:45 p.m.

This panel featuring influencers at three different influencer marketing tiers will explore some of the interesting and/or surprising aspects of influencer marketing: follower counts, engagement metrics, product endorsements, and more. Whether you are an individual who wants to become an influencer or an agency who needs to hire one, these panelists will enlighten.

Moderator: Dr. Matthew Pittman

Panelists: Rachel Rednor, Hannah Lagoski, and Casey Federbusch