Democracy, Citizenship, and Technology Series presents: Social Media and Democracy

August 23, 2018

                     Democracy, Citizenship, and Technology Series sponsored by

                        Anthropology, History and STS presents:

                                       Social Media and Democracy
                                      Wednesday, September 12, 2018

                                      Panel Discussion: 4:30pm - 6:30pm
                                                       10-250  

                                         Graduate Seminar:  7:00pm
                                                         4-153
 
*Pizza will be served for all attendees following the panel discussion at 6:30pm, outside the hall.  Registration is not required but helpful for planning purposes.  Please register your attendance (at no charge): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mitsocial-media-and-democracy-colloquium-tickets-49218079601

"Democracies face a set of unique and proliferating challenges in the twenty-first century, particularly stemming from the increasing power and presence of digital platforms like social media and related technologies. Such digital platforms are the spaces and places that increasingly provide the dominant means of encountering and exchanging ideas, finding news and information, and for creating social and political communities. Although these platforms can promise to serve a public function, they are nonetheless dominantly owned and operated by the private sphere, leading to a number of legal, ethical, and broadly techno-social problems as evidenced by recent revelations of the relationship between Facebook and the 2016 American presidential elections.

Digital platforms are thus not easily classifiable under familiar categories: are they similar to traditional media (press and TV)? Are they considered a utility company (ISPs), providing essential services for internet users? What promising potentials and subsequent futures might certain iteration of social media platforms offer towards creating and maintaining the public and political spheres that are central to the evolution of twenty-first century democracies? How might these platforms be harnessed generatively, as well critiqued?”