What: The strange development of religion over the online world and the followers of these religions.
- Research various religions that have spread through the online world.
- Sole management of our Instagram (@true_lies_), which will include photos that hint at the presence of the Illuminati in our local communities.
- Conduct an interview that delves into what people believe online and the extent they’ll go to find out the truth.
- Investigate whether religion creates biased opinions when dealing with conspiracies.
Why: To highlight the spread of misinformation to those who unquestioningly follow sensationalised stories and inflated rhetoric.
What: The effect that traditional mass media and social media has had in regards to spreading information, both true and false.
- Investigative feature posts on mass media and its effects on Australian society.
- Ten ‘Fact or Fiction‘ blog posts detailing the basics of a conspiracy theory, some genuinely believable and others completely ridiculous. It will be set in the format of a “fact file” (who, what, when, where, why). At the conclusion of the ‘Fact or Fiction’ posts, I will write a post that will reveal the truth and the lies behind each of these conspiracy theories.
- Sole management of our Facebook and Twitter pages. I will regularly pose questions, images, link, facts and mini-surveys.
- Website design – including all WordPress elements, blog consistency across the group and creating all True Lies graphics.
Why: Today, it’s not only the mass media that has control over broadcasted information anymore. Anyone with a computer, smart phone or digital camera has the ability to upload viral videos, send mass emails, and broadcast information across social networking sites at whim. Critical thinking needs to be developed and encouraged in order to sort through what’s real and what’s not – what is the truth and what are the lies?
What: Analyse the impact and dissemination of images in adding validity to conspiracies of all kinds and undermining notions of digital literacy.
- Phamous Photoshop Phails will examine the best and worst cases of image distortion for differing purposes.
- Crudely Drawn Conspiracies would tap into an existing demographic which we also want to petition. By linking to and posting on both reddit and imgur, I will be able to gauge reactions and exposure.
- Explore how websites like Facebook, Flickr, and to a some extent meme based sites contribute to a distortion of both people’s residual self images (and thus self-esteem) and a distortion of people’s perceptions of reality.
Why: Whether it’s in an advertisement trying to sell us a product or a government trying to convince us of a lie, it seems that we simply can’t trust pictures anymore.
AGENT SHIFTY ONE
What: A series of short videos outlining how cheap and easy it is to literally “Create Your Own Conspiracy“. Filmed in a dank, dark basement (probably) with multi-million dollar equipment (probably not), this video series is an entry point into understanding the tropes and cliches of conspiracies.
How: In keeping with the theme, our narrator remains hidden like a shadowy online crusader (or neck-bearded fat basement dweller). The style is simple, so as to emphasise the D.I.Y. aesthetics. If it can’t be done for under $20 and inside the comfort of your own home, then it can’t be done by the average viewer.
Why: These satirical videos draw attention to the ease with which people can be convinced of hoaxes. While the subject matter is intentionally ridiculous, the case study is also a sobering counter-point to the absurdity. It’s important to remember that some citizens are more digitally literate than others, and have no qualms about using that knowledge to fool others.