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POLISCI 52K: Technology and the 2020 Election

The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election season will be historic. A global pandemic, mass protests against police violence and enduring racism, an upended economy, a divisive incumbent President, and a polarized America are a potent combination for surprises. One thing is certain, however: the digital tools and platforms born in Silicon Valley will play an enormously important role in the campaign. Topics include: the technologies of the voting booth and reporting results; online filter bubbles, echo chambers, and effects on polarization; amplification and content moderation of political candidates; online political advertising and microtargeting; manipulation, misinformation, and disinformation; the U.S. in comparative perspective; and policy approaches. This course will attempt, with the help of expert guests, to draw lessons about the legitimate and illegitimate uses of technology in the 2020 election and to take stock of the health of American democracy. We also explore questions about a tech policy agenda in a Trump or Biden administration. We will meet once per week, on Wednesday evenings, with examinations of the most important digital technologies at stake in the election and for the country.
Terms: Aut | Units: 1
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