The Suspicious Society #1

Infocalypse: Digital threats to democracy

Programme editor
Programme editor
in cooperation with
Demlab Radboud University
Fake news, deepfakes and cheapfakes. It seems as if an infocalypse is getting closer and closer: a society in which disinformation and misinformation flourish. As a citizen, how do you know who and what to trust? And how to regulate a digital world where tech companies determine the playing field?

The possibility to freely share information and opinions sounds attractive. But it also puts pressure on democratic freedoms. Tonight we talk with Nina Schick, Anita van Rootselaar, Paul Tang and Rudy Bouma about the consequences of digital innovation for our democratic rights.

Nina Schick is an author specialized in specialised in how technology is transforming and reshaping politics and society in the 21st century.

Anita van Rootselaar created a podcastseries for the Democratic Laboratory of the Radboud University, around the question: ‘Is our democracy under pressure?’

Rudy Bouma is a reporter for Nieuwsuur, a Dutch current affairs television program. Rudy regularly reports on tech-related topics such as online disinformation.

Paul Tang is a Member of the European Parliament for the Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA) since July 2014. Paul Tang mainly works on economic and financial affairs, with a focus on fair taxation and sustainable finance, and the role of data in our society.

About this series: The Suspicious Society
Those who follow the news have seen it all along: protests online and offline, fierce criticism of the mainstream media and the image that people are losing grip on changes in their neighbourhood. It seems as if we are trusting each other less and less. But is that really the case? And how does this perception or “truth” affect our democracy? De Balie and Radboud University join forces and present a trilogy about the suspicious society.

Over deze serie: De wantrouwige samenleving
Wie het nieuws volgt heeft het langs zien komen: protesten online en offline, felle kritiek op de mainstream media en het beeld dat mensen controle verliezen op de veranderingen in hun wijk. Het lijkt alsof we elkaar steeds minder vertrouwen. Maar is dat ook zo? En wat betekent deze beeldvorming óf deze waarheid voor onze democratie? De Balie en de Radboud Universiteit slaan de handen ineen en presenteren een drieluik over de wantrouwige samenleving.


Nina SchickAuthor of the book “Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse: What You Urgently Need To Know”
Anita van RootselaarJournalist & political philosopher
Rudy BoumaJournalist Nieuwsuur, covers disinformation & tech
Paul TangMember of the European Parliament for the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA)

Nina Schick in WIRED:

“What I argue is that now because the information ecosystem has changed so quickly, we are facing an unprecedented crisis of information.”


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