Institutt for informasjons- og medievitenskap

Producing Trust and Authenticity on Digital Platforms. The Case of Tarot Reading Activities Conducted via Youtube

The Network for culture, inequality and democracy (KUD/CID) at Infomedia invites to a public lecture on the topic of digital tarot readings, given by Quentin Gilliotte of Universié Panthéon-Assas, and Emmanuelle Guittet of Université Sorbonne Nouvelle. There will be time for a Q&A.

Samfunnsvitenskapelig fakultet


Quentin Gilliotte is Professeur Junior at Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris, France) and Emmanuelle Guittet is Maîtresse de conferences at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris, France).

In the context of platformization of media production, new types of digital content appear. Fortune-telling activities are subject to this phenomenon, which we have studied through the case of astrological tarot reading published on Youtube. 
The face-to-face settings that traditionally characterizes cartomancy activities, that rely on consultant participation (Jorgensen & Jorgensen, 1982 ; Wooffitt, 2000 ; Esquerre, 2013), is key to the production and proof of authenticity and trust. Unlike traditional astrology or fortune-telling consultations based on face-to-face interaction, tarot reading activities conducted on digital platforms are addressed to a large audience. They are therefore subject to a tension between two potentially contradictory regimes of authenticity: one based on the performance of competence as a professional (veracity of the psychic ability, knowledge of the cards), the other on the performance of their proximity to the audience as would develop an amateur or semi-amateur. 

Through the analysis of semi-structured interviews conducted with French-speaking practitioners based in Europe and a content analysis of videos, we show how  tarot reading videos producers aim to build their audience trust.