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The Ethics and Politics of Social Media Interdisciplinary Working Group

Many discussions of social media have touted their benefits in connecting people and breaking down geographical boundaries, efficient and speedy dissemination of information, and the creation of online communities and safe spaces for self help. While there has also been discussion of the “dark side” of social media, recent events have taken things to an entirely new level, illustrating that social media can be—and has been used to manipulate elections, incite violence, and spread misinformation on a massive scale. Network societies are at a critical junction in terms of their need to grasp and deal with the various dilemmas and issues involved in the design, business models, governance, regulation and use of social media. The proposed interdisciplinary working group will bring together scholars from the humanities, social science, business, education and law to discuss and collaborate on projects focusing on these interrelated issues that touch every facet of social life. We plan to pay special attention to the currently understudied topic of the ethics of social media provision and use. We have two broad lines of inquiry in mind, each involving a series of sub-inquiries. The primary inquiry we want to pursue regards the ethical questions concerning social media platform design and operation, while the second addresses the ethics of the social media user.

Conveners:

Dr. Mohammad Keyhani, Associate Professor, Haskayne School of Business (mohammad.keyhani@haskayne.ucalgary.ca)
Dr. Maria Bakardjieva, Professor, Department of Communication, Media and Film (bakardji@ucalgary.ca)

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