Social Media and Democracy

Frank Fukuyama, Nate Persily, Ashish Goel 2017 - 2018

Social Media and Democracy

Advances in technology and the rise of the Internet are upsetting the longstanding western political balance. Democracies around the world face growing threats from demagogues and populists who use social media to spread xenophobia, misinformation, and fear in furtherance of their agendas. The news media find their traditional role as a source of reliable information and a forum for reasoned debate diminished by changing business models and consumer preferences. And autocratic regimes exploit global information networks to undermine and disrupt democratic institutions. This project will undertake a program of research that will provide an empirical and algorithmic base for policy innovations to preserve democratic institutions in the face of these new challenges. It will work in conjunction with the new Global Digital Policy Incubator (GDPi) at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law by producing a series of studies about both the nature of digital threats to democratic institutions, as well as comparative analysis of existing and emerging responses to this challenge. It will also leverage the school of engineering to explore technological responses where appropriate.

Researchers

fsi_bio

Frank Fukuyama

Mosbacher Director of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law
close
fsi_bio

Frank Fukuyama

Mosbacher Director of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law
Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Research Affiliate at The Europe Center
Francis Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and the Mosbacher Director of FSI's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL). He is also a professor by courtesy in the Department of Political Science. He was previously at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University, where he was the Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy and director of SAIS' International Development program.
fsi_bio

Nathaniel (Nate) Persily

close
fsi_bio

Nathaniel (Nate) Persily

James B. McClatchy Professor of Law
An award-winning teacher and nationally recognized constitutional law expert, Professor Persily, JD ’98, focuses on the law of democracy, addressing issues such as voting rights, political parties, campaign finance and redistricting. A sought-after nonpartisan voice in voting rights, he has served as a court-appointed expert to draw legislative districting plans for Georgia, Maryland and New York and as special master for the redistricting of Connecticut’s congressional districts. Most recently, he also served as the Senior Research Director for the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, a bipartisan commission created by the President to deal with the long lines at the polling place and other administrative problems witnessed in the 2012 election. The Report of the Commission is available at www.supportthevoter.gov.
fsi_bio

Ashish Goel

close
fsi_bio

Ashish Goel

Professor, Management Science and Engineering, and (by courtesy), Computer Science
I conduct research in the design, analysis, and applications of algorithms. I also use techniques from optimization, probability, stochastics, and game theory in my research. I like to get deep into applications, with the goal being tangible impact in the application domain, not just collaborations with practitioners or papers in applied venues. Current application interests include Social Networks and Social Algorithms; Crowdsourced Democracy; Internet Commerce; Reputation, Recommendation, and Trust Systems; Algorithms for large scale data processing. In addition to advancing technology, I am also excited about developing algorithms that improve how we interact with each other and the networked world around us.