Politics, Elections & Misinformation: An Examination into Dis/Misinformation, Democracy, Historically Under-represented & Marginalized People, and Cybersecurity

a Discovery Core Experience

BCORE 107 (Social Sciences)

About This Course

As technology has evolved, so has the context in which information is conveyed to the masses. This has presented new opportunities and challenges, especially as it relates to democratic forms of government. In the last several years, the United States has increasingly become victim, both from outside and inside the country, to the spread of dis/misinformation. These efforts continue today. 

What Will We Do?

In this course, we will examine the system of government in the United States, including its founding, structure, and both historical and modern challenges. Dis/misinformation works in large part because it leverages perhaps the most powerful emotion we have as humans, fear, in a personally relevant and powerful way. Likewise, it is often successful because of a lack of understanding about people different from ourselves.

A significant focus of this course will include an examination of issues related to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, civil rights, and civil liberties.

Additionally, we will explore how our democratic system has come under attack through information warfare. These dis/misinformation campaigns must be combated in a number of ways, including through policy, education, and cybersecurity. The role of cybersecurity will be explored in detail, including both its strengths and limitations. This will include an emphasis on the integrity of information–a core tenet of cybersecurity and the factor most at play with these dis/misinformation campaigns. Additionally, we will take a look at how you can most effectively protect yourself from cybersecurity and privacy threats.

Selected Assignments

Students will engage in original research projects. This will be done by learning about the research process, including reviewing existing research, hypothesis development, writing, collecting raw data and learning how to analyze, synthesize, and discuss their findings. 

Likewise, students will also develop an original multimedia artifact, such as a video of their views and/or that of others related to the topics of this course.

Finally, we will examine why dis/misinformation campaigns and other attacks on nation states and us personally, work. This will involve a dive into the psychology of decision making, risk perception, and why we do the things we do. 

Dr. Marc Dupuis (he/him/his)

School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

About Professor Dupuis

University of Washington, Seattle, WA

  • Ph.D. – Information Science with an emphasis on Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
  • M.S. – Information Science
  • M.P.A. – Master of Public Administration

Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA

  • M.A. – Political Science