In the second phase of the course students learn how to make use of online data to study social and cultural phenomena: in a question-driven process, each group design protocols for data collection and analysis and produce research findings using data visualizations. At the end of the phase each group design an interactive research report.

Each designed report analyzes a specific issue: memetic warfare, visual misinformation, dating and fake profiles, face recognition and its countermeasures, deep fakes and synthetic media, the effects of digital platforms on the visual representation of cities, visual censorship online, drones and aerial mapping, apps for face and body modifications.

In all, they offer a critical overview of how digital technologies are blurring the boundaries between real and fake.

Group 1

I see it, therefore I believe it

Della Pepa Gabriele, Febres Medina Andrea, Ghio Caterina, Granzotto Francesca, Rondi Paola, Stefani Elena

The project wants to analyse the complex scenario in which the phenomenon of images manipulation spread, highlighting the shades of the word fake in order to define the type of information that can be found when users get in touch with the topic and in which contexts it can be faced.

Group 2

Invisible Eyes: from Security Need to Privacy Concerns

Cristina Pita da Veiga, Evansha Agrawal, Guilherme Appolinario, Maria Almeida, Natalia Malaver, Rebeca Vittorazo

Smart objects and cameras are trending. They bring practicality and perceived security but also raise vulnerability (even giants like Google and Amazon have had breaches). Our questions aim to show how cameras are being used and misused. The invisible eyes may be around the corner, in a bedroom or even in the very device you’re reading this into.

Group 3

The Warfare of Funny Pictures on Internet

Valentina Caiola, Davide Formenti, Riccardo Fuccelli, Diego Morra, Francesco Mugnaini, Andrea Pronzati

This research discusses the slightly underrated phenomenon of memetic warfare. There is increasing evidence to suggest that this practice works as the propaganda of the contemporary media landscape. Therefore, we map how memes can be strategically turned into tools for psychological warfare.

Group 4

Place Making in the Mass Media Entertainment World

Beatrice Bazzan, Allegra Colombo, Martina Giordano, Gianluca Misto, Ludovica Piro, Irina Stojsic

Movies and TV series affect the way we perceive and experience the environment around us, they guide our thoughts. The research analyzes how the ‘fictional’ world of movies and series affect the real one and in particular it focuses on the way we perceive locations.

Group 5

Making the Invisible Visible

Antonella Autuori, Agnese Bartolucci, Elena Catani, Mattia Cittadino, Anna Gazza, Barbara Vanoli

Online censorship is a complex phenomenon that changes based on the typology of platform and content. The more the censorship involves users, the more it becomes discussed: why are some contents censored? Who censors them? Which is the boundary between appropriate and inappropriate content?

Group 6

Public Opinions of Drones: A Study of Drones' Usage and Portrayal

Di Wu, Xuan Zhang, Xushan Li, Shaomin Niu, Chenghsin Chen, Mengxue Jin

Drone is a new technology that’s introduced into our society. It’s quickly adapted by the consumer market. Through our project, we explored how search engines, news, and movies reacted to this new technology.

Group 7

Perfect Me: Algorithmic Human Adjustments

Bettini Matteo, Cremonesi Teresa, Enache Alexandru, Lombardi Giovanni, Pagano Valentina, Ren Pengyuan

Global spread of body and face modification apps and the ease of use of them in recent years have raised concerns and controversies, such as privacy matters of use of personal images, edited bodies encouraging body dysmorphia, and beauty racist bias. The project aims to provide an overview through different perspectives on the subject, ranging from the public discussion to the way face and body modification apps appear.

Group 8

The Many Faces of Deepfake

Andrej Cattaneo, Ivana Riva, Noura Sammoura, Maria del Pilar Suarez Anzorena, Arthur van der Werf, Yueling Wu

Recently there has been a lot of commotion around an emerging technology called Deepfake. This artificial technology based on deep learning allows the manipulation of content up to concerning levels of realism. This research digs into different platforms to explore the current situation around Deepfake.

Group 9

Digital Dating: Faking Oneself & Stolen Profiles

Lucia Maria Emilia Ferrari, Mariam Kozbar, Zina Nadery, Kira Pyatakova, Situ Yuming, Xu Mengting

New technology and the internet have widened our horizons with regards to relationships. It changed the way we meet new people and construct our lives. After the acceleration of informational consumption, dating apps have become a normal part of life. But how do they work, what do they ask of us and what kind of problems do they create?

Technology has improved, needs have changed and data collection has become significantly smarter since then, allowing facial recognition to have real-world everyday consequences, both positive and negative. It is up to you to figure out the direction in which this technology will develop.