Is Social Media Destroying Democracy?

A Debate on Social Media in the Age of Disinformation

Democracy, the fundamental idea that an individual can express their personal choices through a vote, hangs in the balance.

There’s no denying that social media has become a central force in democratic society today. It allows for people to connect and exchange ideas, creating an increasingly connected humanity. It enables unprecedented sharing of information so that citizens can make more informed decisions. Marginalized people, whose voices have long been omitted from public discourse, have a platform with which they can express themselves.

But is social media a tool that informs and unites, or is it responsible for deeper divisions and a more polarized society? Are misinformation, digital propaganda, algorithmic biases, and campaign hacking scandals determining the results of our elections? Do unintended flaws in the platforms and sluggish regulation threaten to undermine our democratic process?

Is social media destroying our democracy? If it is, what role can public policy play in regulation, will regulation even work, and can we save our democracy before it’s too late?

Don’t miss this oxford-style debate hosted in partnership with SFU’s School of Public Policy and the British Columbia Civil Discourse Society.

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