Going Viral

Jennifer Gradecki and Derek Curry (United States)

Alongside the pandemic, governments and communities faced infodemic: misinformation and disinformation that spread virally through social media, causing people to ignore public-health protocols and even doubt that COVID-19 was real. While states like Singapore actively combatted misinformation, other states like the United States actively disseminated disinformation, prompting us to reconsider how we define authoritarian and democratic governments during so-called states of exception.

Going Viral allows us to model our own behavior by intervening in the viral spread of misinformation. It generates what might be called pirated public service announcement by silencing the misinformation propagated by celebrities, politicians, pundits, and social media influencers, replacing their voices with ones of public-health authorities and scientists that conveys correct information.

Going Viral uses a “conditional generative adversarial network that is trained on sets of two images where one image becomes a map to produce a second image.” Below the corrected video, the speaker’s original misinformation is explained.

Going Viral was been supported by NEoN Digital Arts Festival.

Creative team

Jennifer Gradecki is an artist-theorist who investigates secretive and specialized socio-technical systems including technologies of mass surveillance, intelligence analysis, artificial intelligence, and social media misinformation. www.jennifergradecki.com

Derek Curry is an artist-researcher who addresses spaces for intervention in automated decision-making systems, including automated stock trading systems, Open Source Intelligence gathering, and algorithmic classification systems. https://derekcurry.com/