Chatham House Primer: Social media and democracy

From the Arab Spring to the 2016 Trump election win, how have democracies benefited and suffered from the impact of social media? 

Members event, Panel
21 March 2023 — 6:00PM TO 6:45PM
Chatham House

With social media now a well-entrenched, yet still recent, component of societies, democracies are still grappling with the impact bought about by this new form of communication and promotion.

For all that social media has bought people closer together and brought government, business and civic leaders, it has also been said to have fuelled divisions and hate. Governments and businesses are now drawing battle lines on the legal responsibilities required of social media platforms as we slowly determine the role they play in our society.

This Primer will discuss key questions including:

  • What are the current legal responsibilities of social media companies? What sort of laws and regulations must they abide by?
  • How are governments looking to change to this?
  • How have some countries manipulated social media to monitor and censor their populations?
  • Can social media truly tackle harmful and dangerous content?
  • Is it possible to combat disinformation and what role should social media platforms play?
  • How can we make social media best fit our society in the future?
  • How should we govern online space?

A drinks reception will follow this event.

As with all member events, questions from the audience drive the conversation.

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A member takes the opportunity to ask the panel a question at our event on the digital revolution.
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