Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Open bibliographic data; Epistemological Security #GlobalMILweek

I'm attending the Global Media and Information Literacy Week feature conference. The actual week is in October, but the conference is happening now in Gothenburg, Sweden. I will be doing some liveblogging, starting with the session I'm in now. Alice Fagerving, of Wikimedia Sweden talked about how the National Library of Sweden is working with Wikipedia to make bibliographic information more openly available. Specifically, the National Library is working with Wikidata. There is also the WikiCite initiative to build a free and open database of bibliographic data. The idea behind this is to capitalise on the work done by libraries worldwide over many years, in cataloguing resources accurately, and by combining with Wikipedia to help make the widely-used Wikipedia more reliable.

Then Urban Jaksa (York University) talked about Conceptualising security in the era of fake news. He identified that security can mean different things, and once you start talking about people it is a broader concept involving health, infrastructure; people's lives. Jaksa also identified non physical aspects of security, namely ontological security (issues of identity and values) which concept originated with RD Laing, and Jaksa also proposed Epistemological security. This was defined as "having confidence in an accurate perception of reality, the validity of one's knowledge, and the methods to acquire and process information".
Using the examples of terrorist attacks he differentiated ontological and epistemological security in sayng that the former was strengthened (with affirmation of identity and values e.g. after the Paris attacks) but the latter was weakened, as people became uncertain about the reliability of national intelligence information etc. He also identified that information overload, with fake news mixed in, caused further confusion. Epistemological security "is about the degree of certainty in external reality". Ontological and Epistemological Security can help us think of security beyond the physical. This idea overlaps with discussions in the information literacy community and I think adds an interesting extra dimension.
Finally, Michael Hoechsmann (Lakehead University) talked about Pipelines and Snake Oil - taking Canadian examples (pipelines, and the national elections). He is involved in a project which has a series of 15-30 day media monitoring projects around the world (DCMET - I think here http://www.education4democracy.net/homeeng). He proposed there were 3 levels of news consumption (noise, participation and echo chambers); and framing (which he positioned as being done by opinion formers and leaders), filtering, and reframing of events. He gave the example of Canada Proud, which has a strong online presence, and which targets men and older women and particular regions of Canada with their message. He also showed how promotion and images was changed and targeted to different genders and different regions to appeal to the different audiences.

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