Most western liberal democracies face a common challenge: high levels of mistrust in government and other large institutions. Our traditional levers of enacting change - at the ballot box, through legislation - are faltering. But can we harness alternative methods and venues like social media or protest movements to rebuild faith in our democracies? Our guest, Ethan Zuckerman, is an early internet pioneer and scholar examining the intersection of social media and democracy. He discusses his recent book Mistrust, which diagnoses the challenges facing our political and economic institutions, and prescribes new tools for rebuilding trust.
“I think Facebook may be one of these broken institutions, where we actually need to replace it with something different,” says Ethan Zuckerman, an early internet pioneer and scholar examining the intersection of social media and democracy.
You might also know Ethan as the inventor of the pop-up ad (and yes, he’s officially apologized for it). He went on to reflect on the myth of social media being one big community, adding that “there is no such thing as a community of three billion people. And I don’t know that three billion people are governable as a group in any sort of healthy fashion.”
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