Victor Wiard's public lecture „Taking the audience seriously: info-democratic disorders and the reception of disinformation”

On 14 February, from 12:15 to 13:45, Victor Wiard, a Postdoctoral Researcher in media and communication studies, will give a public lecture „Taking the audience seriously: a qualitative perspective on info-democratic disorders and the reception of disinformation”, in Room 206 at Lossi 36.

A growing body of research on the reception of disinformation demonstrates the importance of gaining a better understanding at how people make sense of the actors, content, processes and debates of disinformation. This lecture takes on a “cultural study approach” and focuses on how individuals make sense of the nexus between disinformation and democracy (which I call “info-democratic disorders”). To do so, I propose to build upon the concept of “folk theory” – understood as the articulation of experiences, beliefs, suppositions and/or simplifications through which lay people generalise a certain view of the world. Taking examples from fieldwork in Belgium and Luxembourg, this lecture proposes to start a collective reflection on the implications of “taking the audience seriously” when analysing the circulation of disinformation within your country. 

Victor Wiard is Postdoctoral Researcher in media and communication studies. He completed a doctoral thesis in 2022 (ULB/VUB, Brussels Belgium) on the production and circulation of local news in Brussels. His research interests include news production and reception online and on social media platforms. He has been involved in multiple research projects, including “Media Clusters Brussels” and “Alg-Opinion”, which studied the influence of algorithms and interfaces on opinion formation. He is now part of “EDMO BELUX”, which studies and monitors disinformation in Belgium and Luxembourg. He analyses the impact of disinformation campaigns on society and democracy.

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