Friday, December 7, 2018
9:00 AM - 9:40 AM
Social media isn’t working the way we thought it would. Ethan Zuckerman based on his article, “Six or Seven Things Social Media Can Do for Democracy,” will set the framing for the day, exploring the role of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms in the digital public square.
9:40 AM - 10:30 AM
Leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, one of the biggest questions for pundits, activists, and candidates alike (aside from the outcome) was about the role and effect of disinformation. Two years after the 2016 election, which was shaped by disinformation in unprecedented ways, scholars, lawmakers, and online platforms are still struggling to make sense of this phenomenon. What interventions work, and which ones don’t? And what are the consequences of those efforts? What are the offline components of combatting disinformation? What effects of disinformation have actually been documented?
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
As both the 2016 presidential and 2018 midterm elections have shown, the United States is an increasingly politically polarized country. Our online spaces share this same polarization, creating a reflection of fractured blue and red, black and white, Spanish speakers and English speakers, Muslims and Christians. How can online spaces design to bridge these divides? Can the internet puncture filter bubbles and be a place to facilitate hard conversations?
As the internet has flourished, so too have online communities. Notably, the internet has offered space not just for the most popular or the biggest of these communities to succeed — but also the smallest, the most niche, and the most curious. What are the benefits and drawbacks of platforms that cater to specific communities? What challenges to online communities face as they develop and evolve?
We regularly encounter stories of wildly successful online campaigns, petitions, and activist efforts. From Change.org to crowdfunding efforts to hashtag activism, the internet has allowed online communities to breathe new life into offline action. How has the internet made organizing easier — and more challenging? What are the hurdles that have to be cleared and how has the internet changed activists and their efforts?
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
1:15 PM - 2:30 PM
In recent years, the challenges of applying terms of service to online speech consistently and fairly have become especially clear. What’s the solution? Is there a better way? This session will invite participants to design their own policies to support different types of online communities.
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
What will the internet look like in ten to twenty years? Will it be a place where everyone can express themselves, or will dystopian predictions come true? What do you want online civic spaces to look like in the future?
3:30 PM - 3:45 PM
3:45 PM - 5:00 PM