Letters and Politics

Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy

A conversation about the use and abuse of social media and how it affects our democratic principles with author Siva Vaidhyanathan.

Guest: Siva Vaidhyanathan is the Robertson Professor of Media Studies and the Director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia. He is the author of many books on technology, law, and society, including his latest Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy.

About Antisocial Media:

It explains how Facebook devolved from an innocent social site hacked together by Harvard students into a force that, while it may make personal life just a little more pleasurable, makes democracy a lot more challenging.  It’s an account of the hubris of good intentions, a missionary spirit, and an ideology that sees computer code as the universal solvent for all human problems. And it’s an indictment of how “social media” has fostered the deterioration of democratic culture around the world, from facilitating Russian meddling in support of Trump’s election to the exploitation of the platform by murderous authoritarians in Burma and the Philippines.

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