The Social Media Summit @ MIT
Sinan Aral, director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and author of The Hype Machine, led the Social Media Summit @ MIT on April 22, 2021
Social media has become a dominant force for information flow in modern life – it is now a major channel for social interaction, political communication, and commercial marketing. This rise of social media has fundamentally changed the world’s information landscape from a comparatively small number of information producers (e.g. news networks) to large numbers of producers, distributors, and receivers. This democratization of content production and distribution has had a profound impact on how people understand the world. Not only has the volume of information increased, but with the removal of gatekeepers on distribution, the diversity (and thus variation in quality) of the available information has also increased. This has both positive and negative impacts on individuals and society.
The purpose of this event is to understand the impact of social media, revisit public policy frameworks that will best govern this impact, and craft an agenda going forward about how to achieve the promise of social media and avoid it’s peril. Key topics include, mis-information and fake news, responsible AI, algorithmic transparency and the information war in Ukraine. Among the highlights of the day, you won’t want to miss the compelling insights of former Facebook data scientist, Frances Haugen, who last year disclosed tens of thousands of Facebook documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission and The Wall Street Journal. As a result of the inaugural 2021 event, which attracted more than 21,000 virtual attendees, the IDE released The SMS@MIT Event Report.
For the Welcome and the gallery of speakers and topics for the six sessions, go to https://ide.mit.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/SMS@MIT-Brochure-COMPRESSED-1.pdf
For a video of the all-day Summit (8 hours 35 min), go to https://web.mit.edu/webcast/ide/s21/1/
For a review of The Data Advocate, go to https://thedataadvocate.com