“Hacking Democracy: What Social Media is Doing to US Politics,” a free online presentation, is set for Oct. 3. Submitted art

“Hacking Democracy: What Social Media is Doing to US Politics,” a free online presentation, is set for Oct. 3. Submitted art

Social media’s impact on politics in spotlight in ‘Hacking Democracy’

“Hacking Democracy: What Social Media is Doing to US Politics,” a free presentation, set for Oct. 3.

Humanities Washington speaker Travis Ridout offers “Hacking Democracy: What Social Media is Doing to US Politics,” an online presentation, at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3.

Registration is required to receive the Zoom login; register at www.nols.org or by contacting a North Olympic Library System branch.

With Hacking Democracy,” Ridout — a political scientist — explores the pros and cons of social media in political campaigns.

“While social media use gives citizens access to a wealth of information, it also exposes them to messages that are carefully tailored and targeted in a highly sophisticated manner,” Ridout’s Humanities Washington presentation notes. “More ominously, social media can be used to psychologically manipulate voters in unprecedented ways, beyond the fact-checking and scrutiny of the news media spotlight. How real is this latter possibility as we head toward the 2020 presidential campaign? Learn how politicians — and foreign spies — are using social media and personal data to their advantage.”

Ridout is the Thomas S. Foley Distinguished Professor of Government and Public Policy at Washington State University. His research on political campaigns has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science and in the Journal of Politics.

Ridout’s most recent book is political advertising in the United States.

One of Humanities Washington’s oldest and most popular programs, Speakers Bureau is designed to “spark conversation and critical thinking using story as a catalyst, nurturing thoughtful and engaged communities across the state.” For more about Speakers Bureau, visit www.humanities.org/programs/speakers.

Travis Ridout

Travis Ridout

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