Event Title

Social Media and the Illusion of Choice

Date

April 2022

Location

Schewel 232

Description

Social media is one of the most powerful and influential tools of the Information Age, yet its potential remains largely unharnessed. Collectively, we have very little understanding of the apps and algorithms that push content at us. Social media is a vast, virtual library of information, and these algorithms are the librarians that hand us what we are searching for. But can we trust them? Never was this question more prominent than during the pandemic, when society went virtual. From the 2020 election to the January 6th Insurrection, it became obvious that online regulation of disinformation is not up to standard. As the world reopens and we begin to reconnect, we must acknowledge how our worldviews have been changed by our screens--both positively and negatively. Disinformation is a threat. Media regulation is difficult but necessary. We must understand algorithmic incentives in order to know what must be changed and how.

Presentation Type

Flash Talk

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Social Media and the Illusion of Choice

Schewel 232

Social media is one of the most powerful and influential tools of the Information Age, yet its potential remains largely unharnessed. Collectively, we have very little understanding of the apps and algorithms that push content at us. Social media is a vast, virtual library of information, and these algorithms are the librarians that hand us what we are searching for. But can we trust them? Never was this question more prominent than during the pandemic, when society went virtual. From the 2020 election to the January 6th Insurrection, it became obvious that online regulation of disinformation is not up to standard. As the world reopens and we begin to reconnect, we must acknowledge how our worldviews have been changed by our screens--both positively and negatively. Disinformation is a threat. Media regulation is difficult but necessary. We must understand algorithmic incentives in order to know what must be changed and how.