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071429
Tuesday, June 26th 2018
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Debates / Upcoming Debates

Social Media Is Good for Democracy

Tuesday, June 26th 2018
07:30 - 09:00 PM EST
St. Regis Hotel Ballroom
315 East Dean Street
AspenCO

Debate Details

By connecting people across the world for free, platforms like Twitter and Facebook set the stage for a promising digital revolution, providing tools that helped foster global friendships, break down long-standing barriers that kept people and ideas from being heard, and served as the ultimate democratizing force for information. Now, lawmakers in the U.S. and beyond are reeling with questions of how to prevent the spread of digital political propaganda and protect citizens’ personal privacy online. Critics argue that rather than uniting and informing, social media deepens social and political divisions and erodes trust in the democratic process. Will the power of social media yet be harnessed and used as an unprecedented force for good in the world? Or do systemic platform flaws pose an irreversible threat to the world’s democratic institutions?  

 

The Debaters

For the motion

Jeff Jarvis

Director, Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism

Jeff Jarvis is a national leader in the development of online news, blogging, and the investigation of new business models for news. He is director... Read More

Emily Parker

Emily Parker

Digital Diplomacy Adviser & Former State Department Official

Emily Parker is the author of “Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices From the Internet Underground,” which tells the stories of internet activists... Read More

Against the motion

Franklin Foer

Franklin Foer

Staff Writer, The Atlantic

Franklin Foer is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the former editor of The New Republic. He is the author of “World Without Mind: The Existential... Read More

Roger McNamee

Roger McNamee

Investor & Venture Capitalist

Roger McNamee has spent 35 years investing in the technology industry. He is a co-founder of three firms: Integral Capital Partners, Silver Lake Partners... Read More

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The Research

The Research

This explains how social media can both weaken — and strengthen — democracy.

Joshua Tucker, Yannis Theocharis, Margaret E. Roberts and Pablo Barberá
December 6, 2017

“First, social media is a tool for giving voice to those excluded from access to the mainstream media. Second, despite the fact that social-media democratizes access to information, those using it can simultaneously censor and manipulate information to try to silence others’ voices.”

Facebook is now a vital part of our democracy

Jakob Ohme
April 12, 2018

“Social network sites are also an important space for political discussions and movements such as #MeToo or #MarchForOurLives.”

Once considered a boon to democracy, social media have started to look like its nemesis

November 4, 2017

“The more people use their addictive-by-design social media, the more attention social-media companies can sell to advertisers—and the more data about the users’ behaviour they can collect for themselves.”

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