Is Social Media Destroying Democracy?
June 6, 11AM – 12:15PM
Social media has been connecting people from across the globe at a staggering rate. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook have been credited with sparking democratic movements, like those seen during the Arab Spring. However, Facebook also came under fire during the 2016 U.S. presidential election for facilitating the spread of misinformation. What are the real effects, both positive and negative, of social media on democracy across the globe? Does social media ultimately undermine progress and thought? In what ways does it continue to hold promise as a tool for democratic action and accountability? Siva Vaidhyanathan, Robertson Professor of Media Studies and director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at UVA, and Nicole Hemmer, assistant professor of Presidential Studies at the Miller Center, will discuss Vaidhyanathan’s new book Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy—focusing on social media, civil discourse, and the future of democracy.