Escape the Fake: Speculating the future of media literacy

Irina Paraschivoiu


In a not-too-distant future, humanity is living in a post-truth world. The spread of fake news and AI tools used in political campaigns have created a broken, dystopian reality, where it is hard to distinguish what is real from what is not.

In the augmented reality game Escape Fake, we engage with possible trajectories of disinformation, by creating the character Hannah, a quantum reality hacker, who tries to fix a broken future by preventing fake news from escalating at certain moments in time. 

But how might Hannah’s future look like, what are the technological developments and factors which contributed to it? One of the greatest concerns surrounding the post-truth condition is that by surrendering to an endless stream disinformation and misinformation, citizens become vulnerable to political manipulation and authoritarianism. The rise of AI and the filtering and personalization algorithms of search engines can limit exposure to diverse information and enhance existing biases.  

In this workshop, we provide participants with a vocabulary of strategies and tools used in the disinformation space, such as filling in data voids, source hacking and evidence collages. We invite participants to become acquainted with Hannah and use speculative design to imagine scenarios of how her world might look like and the technological, economic, and political factors which led to it. Together, we reflect on different epistemological lenses on media literacy: how might we not only develop digital competencies, but also foster intellectual agency, and cope with our own limitations. Asking these questions might just help us fix the future.

August 31, 2023, 14:00 – 17:00
September 1, 2023, 14:00-17:00

hosted by Irina Paraschivoiu