Presentation Title

Digital Divide: Big Tech, Censorship, and the Bridge Back to Civil Discourse

Type of Presentation

Individual paper/presentation

Target Audience

Higher Education

Location

Session Six Breakouts

Abstract

There was no way to predict how the digital revolution would shape the ways we obtain and process information. Google’s search algorithm promised a streamlined and direct highway to an entire world of knowledge and opened the door to learning in ways never before imagined. The advent of social media promised an even more connected world of networking and digital relationships. But as time passed, the incredible power of Big Tech to modify search results, mine personal data, and use complex AI systems to filter information has created filter bubbles, a bitterly divided populace, and a dangerous avenue for censorship and manipulation of public opinion. A search in Google can reveal different results based on who does the search; social media platforms can ban or “fact check” any post, or permanently remove users they deem to violate their ever-changing “terms of service.” The enormous power to disseminate and censor information is now in the hands of an elite few tech giants who can manipulate the masses to serve their own agendas. This has created a huge gap between different factions of society, a chasm so large that it seems impossible to breech with conversations and compromise, the basis of a healthy and functioning democratic process. We the people must learn to navigate the digital information landscape in a way that builds bridges between different factions of society, allowing people again to have civil conversations and work towards compassion and cooperation to solve the problems we face as a global, connected world.

Presentation Description

The power to disseminate and censor information is now in the hands of an elite few Big Tech giants. A huge gap has formed between factions of society, a chasm so large that it seems impossible to breech. We the people must learn to navigate the digital information landscape in a way that builds bridges of compassion and cooperation, the basis of a healthy and functioning democratic process, to solve the problems we face as a global, connected world.

Would you be willing to serve as a Session Moderator?

NO

Keywords

big tech, censorship, democracy, information literacy, digital divide, freedom of speech, tech oligarchs, civil discourse, rhetoric, compromise, big tech censorship, data mining, fact checkers, democratic process

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

Share

COinS
 
Mar 26th, 3:00 PM Mar 26th, 3:30 PM

Digital Divide: Big Tech, Censorship, and the Bridge Back to Civil Discourse

Session Six Breakouts

There was no way to predict how the digital revolution would shape the ways we obtain and process information. Google’s search algorithm promised a streamlined and direct highway to an entire world of knowledge and opened the door to learning in ways never before imagined. The advent of social media promised an even more connected world of networking and digital relationships. But as time passed, the incredible power of Big Tech to modify search results, mine personal data, and use complex AI systems to filter information has created filter bubbles, a bitterly divided populace, and a dangerous avenue for censorship and manipulation of public opinion. A search in Google can reveal different results based on who does the search; social media platforms can ban or “fact check” any post, or permanently remove users they deem to violate their ever-changing “terms of service.” The enormous power to disseminate and censor information is now in the hands of an elite few tech giants who can manipulate the masses to serve their own agendas. This has created a huge gap between different factions of society, a chasm so large that it seems impossible to breech with conversations and compromise, the basis of a healthy and functioning democratic process. We the people must learn to navigate the digital information landscape in a way that builds bridges between different factions of society, allowing people again to have civil conversations and work towards compassion and cooperation to solve the problems we face as a global, connected world.