• Digital Reactionaries

This is a four part series that explores various aspects of extremism in online spaces. Topics will include conspiratorial thinking, the Qanon conspiracy, the role of social networks in promoting these beliefs, and the importance of critical thinking to push back against these conspiracies. 

Each of the sessions in this series builds upon the others, but each class is also a distinct stand-alone topic, so you may register for a single session or the entire series.

Note: The courses listed on this page take place online. We also are offering a face to face delivery format at the Mary Winspear Centre: Digital Reactionaries series (Mary Winspear Centre). 

Continuing Studies statement on use of educational technology

These courses will require the use of Zoom and may use other education technology such as internet-based applications, cloud services, or social media. In order to complete these courses you will be required to either consent to the disclosure of your personal information outside of Canada to enable use of these technologies, or work with the Division of Continuing Studies to explore other privacy protective options (such as using an alias or nickname).

Online registration temporarily unavailable

Sessions

The Storm Rises: Qanon as Conspiracy and Quasi-religious Movement

Of all the conspiratorial claims to have emerged in the past five years, perhaps the most bizarre—and dangerous—is Qanon, a paranoid, conspiratorial movement that has in recent years taken on an almost religious dynamic. What is this movement? What do its followers believe? Why do some of its more lurid elements feel so familiar? 
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Conspiratorial Thinking in the Age of COVID

Our social media networks have become filled with strange claims: that Bill Gates is micro-chipping us through our COVID vaccines, that COVID itself is a hoax, etc. How do some of us come to believe such wild claims?
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Social Networks: How Conspiracy Theories Move in Digital Spaces

Today, conspiracy theorists from around the world can come together, share their beliefs, and develop new ones to then be spread through our social media networks. How does this happen? Why do they spread so quickly, and what can be done about it?
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Skepticism and Critical Thinking in the 21st Century

In light of growing anti-intellectualism, we are faced with a daunting prospect - a world where facts matter less than popularity, and where certainty threatens to replace truth. We are entering what some scholars refer to as a post-truth age and it is happening at a perilous time.
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Fees

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Refund policy: A full course refund will only be provided if you withdraw from a course prior to the course start date. For courses with more than one class, a refund, less a minimum $15 administrative fee may be issued if you withdraw prior to the second class. Depending on your method of payment, a refund will be either mailed to you or credited to your credit card.