40 minutes | Aug 3rd 2020

Societies Online: Facebook & Democracy (with Siva Vaidhyanathan)

In this two-part inquiry into what the internet is doing to societies, two leading scholars who study online media take a critical look at both the affordances and dangers of large platforms like Facebook, Google, and Reddit. In this episode, Siva Vaidhyanathan breaks down the global power of Facebook: what it provides in a positive sense, but also how exactly it makes money off of us, and how its design and business model pose a serious threat to democracy. Siva shares some ideas about what would need to change for Facebook to serve its users—and societies—better.


Guest: Siva Vaidhyanathan, Robertson Professor of Media Studies and director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia and author of Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2018) and The Googlization of Everything (and Why We Should Worry) (University of California Press, 2012).


Visit www.publicbooks.org/podcast for more information about our guests, the texts and scholars mentioned in this episode, and a list of further reading on the topic, curated by our guests.

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