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February 19: Can Democracy Survive the Internet?

2018 Radio News Award: WERUThe League of Women Voters-Downeast in cooperation with WERU FM produces a monthly radio program on topics in participatory democracy. It's called the Democracy Forum.

Broadcasts may be heard from 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. on the third Friday of the month at WERU Community Radio, 89.9 FM. Listen on the Web at WERU FM.

In September, 2018, the Democracy Forum won top honors from the Maine Association of Broadcasting for public affairs radio.

Broadcasts are available as a podcast from WERU FM.

Here is information about our upcoming broadcast.

February 19 — Can Democracy Survive the Internet?

This new episode will be pre-recorded; no listener calls will be taken. Comments and questions may be emailed to news@weru.org with Democracy Forum on the subject line.

“The point of modern propaganda isn't only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”  Garry Kasparov, chess grandmaster and political activist

We’ll talk about our information ecosystem and how it's contributed to this very divisive moment in American politics: how did it go wrong, can we fix it? Can democracy survive the Internet? What role do mis- and dis-information, social media, media silos, and alternative realities play in fostering extremism? How are these issues playing out right here in real-world Maine? What remedies are suggested by research?

In case you missed it live, you can listen to this show from the archive at weru.org.

Special Guests: 

Key Topics:

  • What do people mean by the term “information ecosystem," and how has it changed in the last generation?

  • Do mis- and dis-information promulgate primarily on social media?

  • How do we see this playing out here in Maine?

  • Profitability of outrage: how do social media giants make money on this stuff?

  • Is there a positive vision of what social media could be; how it could contribute to deliberative democracy?

  • What are other countries doing? Why is the US so far behind?

  • What could the U.S. do better within our constitutional framework?

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