Beware the Propagandist You See In the Mirror

Americans Are Overwhelmed by Persuasive Messaging, Even as They Bombard Each Other

On any given day, Americans are inundated with persuasive messages, otherwise known as propaganda, from the time they wake up until the time they go to sleep. These messages—their positive effects and their dangers—were the focus of discussion at a Zócalo/UCLA Anderson School of Management event titled, “Is Propaganda Keeping Americans From Thinking for Themselves?”

Moderator Carla Hall, editorial board member of the Los Angeles Times, started off the event, held before a standing-room-only crowd at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in downtown Los Angeles, by asking …

Why Facebook Makes Americans Feel Politically Polarized

By Equating Political and Social Identities, the Platform Makes Our Divides Feel Unbridgeable

It’s not hard to understand why moderate opinions are absent from the ranks of cable television talking heads, satellite radio hosts, and newspaper opinion editorialists. Moderation doesn’t sell. Americans have …

Only You Can Defeat Vladimir Putin

Russian Interference With America Is Profound and Systematic, So the Best Self-Defense Is We, the People

Vladimir Putin has done a masterful job of sowing hatred and confusion in the West. By tampering with elections, hijacking social media platforms, and cranking out reams of bogus conspiracy …

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 …

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 …