The Impact of Social Media on Society and Democracy

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These are the slides for a talk I gave to The Foundation of Science & Technology at the Royal Society, London on the 11 July 2012, as part of a wider panel discussion with Julian Huppert MP and Mike Lynch of Autonomy. The UK government's Data Communication Bill gave a backdrop and context to the evening.

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  • Implications and impact: the world can appear smaller, how quickly information flows, laws and law making, regulation
  • Huge implications for freedom of expression, privacy, censorship, data ownership – for both individuals and governments.
  • The Impact of Social Media on Society and Democracy

    1. 1. What impact has social media had on society and democracy? Kathryn Corrick The Foundation for Science & Technology, Royal Society, 11 July 2012 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b0/Anonymous_at_Scientology_in_Los_Angeles.jpg© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    2. 2. What’s changed?© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    3. 3. Networks & Reach Communications are less limited by state borders* * Whilst proxy servers are used by some to get around state internet blocks we still cannot say there is complete freedom of access to information or communication. Language is also often still a barrier – both technically and culturally. When did you last read a newspaper in French, let alone Mongolian?© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    4. 4. Accessibility & Usability “One upside of the web is that everyone has a printing press. One downside: everyone has a printing press.” Peter Kafka http://statigr.am/viewer.php#/detail/184686624347714671_1985188 http://mediamemo.allthingsd.com /20100304/exclusive-on-the-internet-no-one-knows-your-story-is-make-believe/?mod=© ATD_rss Kathryn Corrick 2012
    5. 5. Speed and near real-time communications “A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on.” - Terry Pratchett, The Truth© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    6. 6. It’s very easy to record and store http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Transistor_Count_and_Moores_Law_-_2011.svg© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    7. 7. Extensive corporate involvement in public discourse© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    8. 8. What hasn’t changed?© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    9. 9. How easily we forget history© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    10. 10. The ability to find a needle in a haystack (a metal detector and a magnet help but…) http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcorrick/6127546354/sizes/l/in/set-72157627624111278 /© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    11. 11. But more importantly… People© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    12. 12. We still want to love http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcorrick/5636054238/sizes/l/in/set-72157626510561474/© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    13. 13. And be loved © Kathryn Corrick 2012© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    14. 14. We want to keep in touch http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcorrick/6897398055/sizes/l/in/set-7215760291856834© 9/ Kathryn Corrick 2012
    15. 15. And protect our families http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcorrick/5673247634/sizes/l/in/set-7215760291856834© 9/ Kathryn Corrick 2012
    16. 16. Earn a living http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcorrick/5632675594/sizes/l/in/set-7215760291856834© 9/ Kathryn Corrick 2012
    17. 17. And have fun http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcorrick/2792525747/sizes/m/in/set-721576029185683© 49/ Kathryn Corrick 2012
    18. 18. Feel part of something bigger http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcorrick/7443062698/sizes/l/in/set-7215763018206939© 8/ Kathryn Corrick 2012
    19. 19. And change the world http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcorrick/5428005397/sizes/l/in/set-7215762587951003© 1/ Kathryn Corrick 2012
    20. 20. We also desire power and sometimes absolute power. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcorrick/2812537220/sizes/o/in/photostream/© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    21. 21. For all these activities (and more) we use or try to control the tools available to us inc. social media. http://www.businessinsider.com/social-media-marketing-landscape-complicated-2012-5© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    22. 22. Frames to understand what’s going on© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    23. 23. In the UK we have recently seen a loss of moral authority, across: Parliament Banks and financial institutions Police Media The Church http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcorrick/2812537220/sizes/o/in/photostream/© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    24. 24. Libertarian v Authoritarian Rather than Left v Right© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    25. 25. A re-evaluation and use of Marx How we understand capital – human and material http://www.flickr.com/photos/7477245@N05/6293033342/sizes/l/in/photostream/© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    26. 26. Hacker and hacktavist culture http://www.flickr.com/photos/home_of_chaos/5287303391/sizes/l/in/photostream/© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    27. 27. Consensus politics Popularised by the Occupy movement http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcorrick/6249466456/sizes/l/in/photostream/© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    28. 28. So… the impact of social media on society and democracy?© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    29. 29. Our use of technology and social media is a reflection of our humanity and society What kind of society and democracy do we want reflected?© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    30. 30. Further reading • Consent of the Networked by Rebecca McKinnon • The Revolution Will Be Digitised by Heather Brooke • The Net Delusion: how not to liberate the world by Evgeny Morozov • Barefoot into Cyberspace by Becky Hogge • Inside Wikileaks by Daniel Domscheit-Berg • Flat Earth News by Nick Davies • Communication Power by Manuel Castells© Kathryn Corrick 2012
    31. 31. Thank you Kathryn Corrick www.kathryncorrick.co.uk Twitter - @kcorrick Admin@kathryncorrick.co.uk© Kathryn Corrick 2012

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