Battle of Ideas Festival: FREE SPEECH IN AN AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

SUNDAY 14 OCTOBER, 13:10—13:50, GARDEN ROOM, Barbican Centre, London Originally published on Battle of Ideas festival. In recent years, social media have become the focus of debates about free speech, and the issue is rapidly coming to a head. Last October, a conservative outlet, Prager University, sued Google for demonetising its videos on YouTube. Prager claimed that Continue Reading

Battle of Ideas Festival: SOCIAL MEDIA: THE PUBLIC SQUARE OF THE 21ST CENTURY?

Can democracy thrive with a totally free web, or should governments step in to protect the citizens they serve? Is it possible to solve new-age problems like filter bubbles and the transformation of our public sphere with a more open online framework? And what can we learn from the success stories of democratic digitalisation overseas?

Computing communities

The report's author, William Davies, hopes that new, technology-based tools can assist in rebuilding people's social relationships – with other individuals, with institutions and with governments. The argument seems to be that if we have little trust in one another, we should start trusting technology (1).To coincide with the launch of the report, the Work Continue Reading

Organised defeat?

Clay Shirky, adjunct professor at NYU, in his new book Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, argues that all this represents the awakening of democracy. People are more able to influence others by overlooking cumbersome official channels that are unrepresentative and out-moded, which worries the establishment – be they political elite, the Continue Reading

Powerful Connections

Coren is not alone in his awakening. In a few weeks Coren amassed over 4,400 followers, but that’s nothing compared to Twitter stalwarts such as actor Stephen Fry with 800,000 followers, or singer Lily Allen with 1.6 million. Even 10 Downing Street has over 1.4 million followers. But Twitter’s meteoric rise is also symbolic. It’s Continue Reading

The Future of Community: Reports of a Death Greatly Exaggerated

Buy on Amazon. Contributing author. ‘The Future of Community is a much need challenge to the complacent and flabby orthodoxies currently dominating the debate. It asks all the right questions. . . . Suggesting compelling answers, this book will lift the communities debate to another level.’ Julian Baggini, philosopher and author of ‘Welcome to Everytown: Continue Reading