Politics & Government

A Turning Point in the Oversight of Digital Platforms: A Challenge for American Leadership

The views expressed in Shorenstein Center Discussion Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Harvard Kennedy School or of Harvard University. Discussion Papers have not undergone formal review and approval. Such papers are included in this series to elicit feedback and to encourage debate on important issues and challenges …

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Platform Accountability and Contemporary Competition Law: Practical Considerations

Introduction “As you know, many people think it is a very antitrust situation, the three of them. But I just, I won’t comment on that.”  President Donald Trump with respect to Google, Facebook, and Amazon, interview with Bloomberg News, August 30, 2018 Digital platforms that enable two-sided markets—Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter, among others—are, to understate …

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Setti Warren on government, campaigns, and the media

September 18, 2018—Setti Warren, new Executive Director of the Shorenstein Center, and former mayor of Newton, MA, joined Nicco Mele to discuss local government, electoral campaigns, the importance of a robust local media, and more. Full audio below, and you can subscribe to the Shorenstein Center’s podcast on iTunes, Google Play, iHeartRadio, and Stitcher.

Siva Vaidhyanathan on social media and its effects on democracy

September 11, 2018—Siva Vaidhyanathan, Robertson Professor of Media Studies and director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia, joined Shorenstein Center director Nicco Mele for a conversation about his new book. Below is the full audio of the conversation, and you can subscribe to the Shorenstein Center’s podcast on iTunes, Google Play, iHeartRadio, and Stitcher. Selected …

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Reinforcing the benefits of distributed networks while avoiding their vulnerabilities to propaganda

Speaker series on fake news and misinformation, co-sponsored by the NULab at Northeastern University. Many of the ideas for sifting truth from fiction in news feeds entail Facebook embracing its currently-singular role as a social network. Relying on that centrality may seem efficient and beneficial in the short term, but it’s a recipe for deep trouble in …

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Verification Basics

First Draft Launches Free Course on Identifying Misinformation Online

Cambridge, MA—First Draft, a project run by Shorenstein Center Fellow Claire Wardle, has launched a free one-hour online course to teach journalists, students, and members of the general public basic tools to verify the authenticity of content found online. Countless examples of people earnestly sharing Photoshopped images of natural disasters, or retweeting content from Russian …

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Kate Starbird

Muddied Waters: Online Disinformation during Crisis Events

Speaker series on fake news and misinformation, co-sponsored by the NULab at Northeastern University.  Recent public attention and debate around “fake news” has highlighted the growing challenge of determining information veracity online. This is a complex and dynamic problem at the intersection of technology, human cognition, and human behavior—i.e. our strategies and heuristics for making …

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Elizabeth Bruenig

The Washington Post‘s Elizabeth Bruenig on Religion, Politics, and the Left

February 20, 2018—Elizabeth Bruenig, Washington Post columnist, discussed the role of Christianity in U.S. politics with Richard Parker, Lecturer in Public Policy, during a visit to the Shorenstein Center. Below are some highlights from the conversation, as well as the full audio. The Shorenstein Center’s podcast is also available on iTunes, Google Play, iHeartRadio, and Stitcher. Commonalities between Christianity and …

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Garrett Graff

Garrett Graff on Trump, Mueller, Russia, and Cybersecurity

February 13, 2018— Garrett Graff, journalist, author, and director of the Aspen Institute’s cybersecurity and technology program, discussed Robert Mueller’s investigations, election cybersecurity, and threats to U.S. democracy during a visit to the Shorenstein Center. Below are some highlights of his conversation with Shorenstein Center Director Nicco Mele. Graff, who has written about Mueller extensively, …

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#DigitalDeceit: The Technologies Behind Precision Propaganda on the Internet

Over the past year, there has been rising pressure on Facebook, Google and Twitter to account for how bad actors are exploiting their platforms. The catalyst of this so-called “tech-lash” was the revelation in summer 2017 that agents of the Russian government engaged in disinformation operations using these services to influence the 2016 presidential campaigns. …

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