Social media has pervaded almost every aspect of our lives and, as the 2016 election has demonstrated, our political life is not immune from the effects of social media. But what if thinking about the effects of social media on politics is asking the wrong question? My guest today, Dr. Jennnifer Forestal of Loyola University Chicago, argues that we should be studying social media platforms as political sites themselves – where users collective decide, even if contentiously, how to manage public things of value. Professor Forestal is a political theorist who draws on the history of political thought to investigate the politics of social media, studying the effects of site design, governance structures, and software development on the potential for democratic engagement with and through digital media. We spoke about the politics of social media, their role in American democracy, and ways to design platforms in a more just manner.
- You can learn more about Professor Forestal’s research by visiting her website: http://www.jenniferforestal.com/ and following her on twitter @Seejenspeak
- You can read some of her work in The American Political Science Review, Contemporary Political Theory, and at Democratic Audit
- Music: https://www.purple-planet.com
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- Learn more about the Politics Department at Occidental College at: https://www.oxy.edu/academics/areas-study/politics
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