SAS22 Trust and Disinformation

September 1, 2022 - September 2, 2022
Philosophy of Computational Sciences, Universität Stuttgart

Nobelstraße 19

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Universität Stuttgart
High-Performance Computing Center (HLRS), University Of Stuttgart

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The profound detrimental effects of disinformation makes it one of the most pressing issues of our times. Disinformation not only deceives people and leads them to hold false beliefs. Rather, the thriving of disinformation raises the more fundamental problem of which sources of information can be trusted at all. By potentially challenging our relationships of trust, disinformation represents a more profound disruption of the information space. Consequently, disinformation may potentially fuel confusion or mistrust of traditional information sources. Furthermore, they may exacerbate the polarization of the public debate and thus have far-reaching damaging effects on processes of democratic decision-making.

Disinformation as such is a not a completely new phenomenon, but it has become more pressing in recent years. This is not only due to the prevalence of social media and the kind of attention economy that governs them. The causes and conditions that can be named for the proliferation of disinformation are manifold, whether technological, sociological, institutional or political.

Likewise, the discussion about adequate countermeasures against disinformation is complex and offers no  simple solutions. A great part of the debate focuses on technical solutions to the problem, such as  upload filters. However, these  raise questions not only about  their practical feasibility but also about ethical and legitimacy concerns. Alternative approaches that aim to educate  news consumer‘s media literacy threaten to overburden them.

The general aim of the conference is to gain a better and more comprehensive understanding of the effects, causes and mechanism of disinformation. We also aim at discussing the various advantages and problems of possible countermeasures.


  • What is disinformation, misinformation, malinformation, malicious rumors or fake news?

  • What are the various effects of disinformation ?

  • What are the causes and conditions for the thriving of disinformation?

  • What are (in-)adequate measures against disinformation?

  • The relation between disinformation and trust: Why is disinformation (mis-)trusted? What impact may it have on our trust relationships?

  • What do we know about the history of disinformation? How do disinformation and, for example, propaganda relate to each other?

  • How can the novel technical conditions be placed in an appropriate relationship to long-evolving social-structural conditions for the success of disinformation? Do we overestimate the former and underestimate the latter?

About us:

HLRS is a research institute and a supercomputer center with one of the fastest computer systems worldwide. HLRS conducts its own research in the field of high-performance computing. Emphasis is placed on the topics of scalability, performance optimization, big data, green IT and the application areas of health, environment, energy and mobility.

HLRS houses a department for the philosophy of computational sciences headed by Dr. Andreas Kaminski. The project “Trust in Information“ is kindly funded by the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts Baden-Württemberg.

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August 15, 2022, 11:45pm CET

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