CFP: From echo chambers to context collapse and back: new work

Submission deadline: June 4, 2024

Conference date(s):
June 15, 2024

Go to the conference's page

This event is available both online and in-person

Conference Venue:

Department for Theoretical Philosophy & CELFIS, University of Bucharest
Bucharest, Romania

Topic areas


Social media has become an almost ubiquitous presence in our lives, shaping how we engage with information, communicate with others, and, more broadly, interact with the world at large. Out of all the phenomena that emerge from the interactions of agents on this digital landscape, two are of particular interest.

Echo-chambers are a type of social epistemic network that actively isolates agents found within it from others outside of it. This can lead to development of various practices meant to reinforce isolation, such as dog-whistling. The effects of this on knowledge sharing and belief formation are complex and difficult to characterize.

On the opposite side, a paradigm case of context-collapse would be the posting of a message intended for the posters’ close friends on a board that is accessible to his family members. As such, the context-sensitive elements of the message will be worked out on different common grounds. This seems to be a by-product of the design of social media platforms, but it seems like it can lead to many epistemic benefits. Leaking and hacking do sometimes provide agents with important knowledge that would have been otherwise kept hidden.

Prima facie, these phenomena seem to be incompatible: presumably echo-chambers guard against context-collapse. But there are reasons to think otherwise. Moreover, the complex world of social media communication and information sharing is characterized by a lot more parameters than offline epistemic networks. Anonymity and gamification are especially worth thinking about. In addition, quantitative changes to the speed that information reaches the agents in a network do seem to qualitatively transform the reliability of certain epistemic processes. With this conference we are interested in presentations that tackle the many problems of the emergent social-epistemic and communicational phenomena of social media.

We aim to bring together students and researchers in social epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of technology, and cognitive science. When submitting an abstract, consider the following questions:

●    How can these echo-chambers and context-collapse co-exist on social media platforms? How best to describe their functions and interactions?

●    What are the best epistemic practices that maximize the formation of reliable beliefs on social media?

●    What are the underlying cognitive processes that drive the formation of echo-chambers?

●    How can anonymity reinforce or undermine echo-chamber formation?

●    Could a gamified design of a social media platform incentivize the widening of one’s epistemic network?

●    Are there discernible differences in attention or memory among agents with social media based epistemic networks, as compared with offline ones?

●    Can we identify specific patterns of behavior and communicative practices that emerge as a consequence of prolonged exposure to social media?

●    Are agents who exhibit self-awareness regarding their usage patterns and behaviors on social media more likely to resist being trapped in echo-chambers? 

The conference will take place 15th June 2024, between 9 AM - 9 PM, local time for Bucharest Romania. Regular presentations will be 20 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes long Q&A.

It will have a mixed format, in that speakers may choose whether they present online only or face to face at the event’s location (if so, their session will enjoy a live audience, but it will also be streamed to remote participants).

Topic Areas:

            Social Epistemology of the Internet

            Philosophy of Language

            Philosophy of Technology

We encourage BA, MA and PhD students, as well as early PhD's and postdocs, to contribute research abstracts related to the event's topic areas. Abstracts should be written in English and should not exceed 300 words.

Abstracts will receive full consideration if sent before June 4th 2024 at the following address: [email protected] Word or PDF attachments preferred, with the message titled "abstract submission, 'From echo chambers to context collapse and back' ".

All submissions will go through a process of blind peer review. (Please write your identifying details in the body of the email, and leave the attached abstract anonymized.) We intend notifications of acceptance to be sent out on or before June 6th 2024. The conference programme will be announced as soon as review is completed.

For any questions, please don't hesitate to email [email protected]

The conference is organized with the support of graduate students in the “Mind the Brain” master’s program at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest. More details about the programme are available here:

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)


Custom tags:

#echo chamber, #context collapse