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Symposium: Morphogenesis and Virality of Right Wing Body of Thought in Germany, Italy and France

Teaser für Tagung

The symposium aims at bringing about an Italian-French-German network of young scholars dedicated to reflection on the “virality” of misinformation and hate speech in social networks. The concept of “virality” has been used first in philosophy and analysis of society, and only since the 19th century it has been specified in a biomedical context in the sense of “contagion”. Here by “virality” it is meant the rapid and uncontrolled diffusion of a given content or practice, with particular reference to online communication. Every event capable of catalyzing the attention of media and Internet users can become viral: the greater is the importance collectively attributed to the event, the more significant will the probability be that texts and signs that represent it trigger mechanisms of wildfire-like diffusion, ending up “contaminating” public life and integrating shared knowledge. Viral diffusion of content on the web becomes particularly dangerous when misinformation is at stake. Hoaxes, pseudo-scientific information, and conspiracy theories proliferate in Internet. Finding fertile ground in the context of economic crises and material and cultural difficulties of ethnical integration, this kind of discourse risks to embitter social tension and feed hate speech, giving rise to campaigns of ideological discrimination to the detriment of ethnically, religiously, politically, or gender-profiled groups. Italy and Germany are not immune from phenomena of this kind, which originate and spread virally in Internet but contaminate also “offline” everyday life, thus resulting in tangible negative social effects. Educating people to sift online information and discourse is, today, extremely urgent. Going forward, it will become increasingly necessary to rely on professionals able to defuse and contrast the spreading of misinformation. The project aim at facilitating exchange of young Italian and German scholars on such topic.




Tuesday, January 17th - House 19, Room 1.21

6:00 PM Massimo Leone (Turin): “The Semiotics of Trolling: Online Extremism Virality and Conversational Rules.” (Keynote)


Wednesday, January 18 th House 11, Room 2.19

9:00 AM Eva Kimminich (Potsdam): “Usefulness and Dangers of the Virus Metaphor in Understanding the Spreading of Right Wing Ideologies.” (Keynote)
9:30 Mattia Thibault (Turin): “Welcome to the Internet: Where the Facts Are Made up And the Truth Doesn't Matter.”
10:45 Matthias Hartung (Bielefeld): "Topography of Right-Wing Extremism in Thuringia. A Computational Approach towards Identifying andAnalyzing Right-Wing Content in Twitter Profiles."
2:00 PM Vincenzo Idone Cassone (Turin): “Games People Play. The Rise of Unpolitical Right-Wing Rhetorics.”
2:45 Julius Erdmann (Potsdam): “Disinformation, Fake News and Eco Chambers in Online Networks. On Medial Structures and the Diffusion of Right Wing Argumentation.”
4:00 Linda Thom (Potsdam): “Virality and Emotionality of the Lügenpresse Phenomenon.”
4:45 Amir Dizdarević (Potsdam): “On the Metaphors of Conspiracy Theories About Refugees in Right-Wing Media.”
5:30 Christina Thumann (Potsdam): “Infection of Argumentation Through Front Nationale and AfD Discourse - How Populist Parties Use Metaphors in Social Networks to Mobilize Against Muslim Citizens.”


Link to premises location on OpenStreetMap


  • 605, 695, X5 from Potsdam Central Station (Hauptbahnhof)


  • RB 21, RB 20 from Potsdam Central Station (Hauptbahnhof)
  • RE 1 from Berlin
  • S7 from Berlin

See here for all public transport schedules!