In a perfect storm of social unrest, fake news, and a global pandemic, the 2020 election may be the most vulnerable yet to interference by foreign actors. And that’s only one of many warnings about the dangerous influence of social media from Sinan Aral, the MIT researcher who helped uncover Russian interference in the 2016 election.
On CHM Live, Aral, director of MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE), will discuss the evolution of social media from the early days of techno-optimism to the backlash against big tech and the urgent need to master it before it masters us. In conversation with a moderator, Aral will explore how powerful social networks, fake news, and brain chemistry influence our choices... for better or worse. He’ll answer critical questions, such as: What do we know about election interference in 2016 and the new strategies Russia, China, and Iran are employing in 2020? How is misinformation about the coronavirus spreading worldwide? What can social media companies do to stop fake news on their platforms and whether breaking them up will help or make the problem worse? What steps can we take to thwart election interference and stop the spread of fake news?
Drawing on two decades of his own research and business experience working with Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, WeChat, and The New York Times among other companies, Aral will decode fake news and argue that its negative effects are not inevitable - if we learn how to disrupt it
Speaker: Sinan Aral, MIT
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