UMass Amherst Seminar to Ask “Can We Build Social Media That’s Good for Society?”

MIT’s Ethan Zuckerman to present at ILC’s Communication Hub on Dec. 2
Ethan Zuckerman
Ethan Zuckerman

AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst will host “Can We Build Social Media That’s Good for Society?,” a seminar presented by author and Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty member Ethan Zuckerman, from 4-5 p.m., Dec. 2 in the Communication Hub of the Integrated Learning Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Zuckerman will discuss the current tech backlash and examine the veracity of some of the most common critiques of social media – that it is polarizing our politics, abusing our attention, misinforming our democracy and damaging our emotional health. During his presentation he will explore what it would mean to build social media expressly designed to strengthen democratic society, and whether we can imagine an alternative system where public service digital media overcomes some of the thorniest problems of our contemporary world.

The director of the MIT Center for Civic Media, Zuckerman is associate professor of practice at the MIT Media Lab and the author of the 2013 book Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection. Previously, he worked with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University on projects focused on civic media, freedom of speech online and understanding media ecosystems. He also founded Geekcorp, a non-profit technology volunteer corps that has done work in over a dozen countries, and helped to found Tripod, an early participatory media company.

The event, which will be preceded by a reception at 3:30 p.m., is co-sponsored by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the College of Information and Computer Sciences,

Attendees can find more information about the event and RSVP on the SBS website.