Forget Fake News. Social Media Is Making Democracy Less Democratic.

Hyperconnectivity Allows Demagogues to Micro-Target and Manipulate the Masses

Anxieties that new communications technologies and media formats would undermine democratic citizenship go back more than a century. In the late 19th century, critics worried about sensationalistic “yellow journalism”; a cartoon from that era even used the phrase “fake news. And indeed the newly cheap mass newspapers—in reckless disregard of facts—helped push the United States into war with Spain in 1898.

A generation later, newspaperman and political commentator Walter Lippmann observed that people “live in the same world, but they think and feel in different ones,” anticipating our current …

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When You Live Online, Will Anyone Know When You Die?

Public Grieving on Social Media Hides a Darker Private Reality

I suspected that something was wrong on the Sunday morning when I saw the beginning of a Facebook post in my newsfeed sidebar that said, in French, “Our dear AJ …

Our Exhibition Embraced Selfies, Snapchat, and Shopping Malls—and Went Viral

In the Overheated Art World, Social Media Give Millennials New Tools For Engagement

Even a few years ago, galleries and museums that showcased their collections via Instagram were a minority. Now Instagram is ubiquitous. Cellphone cameras have officially replaced sketching among museum-goers. …

Why “Post-Truth” Is a Convenient Lie

The Real Culprit Is Tyrannical Social Media

You know the feeling when something gets caught in your eye? It could be an eyelash that has loosened, or a cold wind hitting your visual nerve. It’s not a …

Why This Existential Tome Is Everything to College Kids

From Instagram to Authenticity, Philosopher Charles Taylor Seems to Be "Reading Our Mail"

When I announced in 2011 that my senior undergraduate seminar would be devoted to wading through Charles Taylor’s mammoth 900-page tome, A Secular Age, I wasn’t sure what to expect. …

How Pokémon Go Can Save Lives in a Hurricane

Players Could Mobilize by Donating Blood, Filling Sandbags, and Evacuating Threatened Areas

Twenty years ago, when millions of people were displaced by a storm like Hurricane Matthew, we’d see convoys of temporary trailers being towed into stricken areas to shelter the newly …