Social Media. Revolution and Reform. Sinan Aral

When social media burst on the scene, many of us were in awe of its great potential. For the first ten years of Facebook, public reaction to this new form of communication was overwhelmingly positive, but now that we have a better understanding of how social media is shaping our world, there are growing calls for fundamental reform. 

Should tech monopolies be cut down to size and broken apart? Or is a much more careful, nuanced approach needed from Congress? 

MIT Management Professor Sinan Aral has spent two decades studying how social media changed American politics, the economy, and even our personal health. He is the author of the recent book, "The Hype Machine". As an entrepreneur and investor, he has a deep understanding of the perils and promise of social media. We publish extracts from his interview with the podcast, "Democracy Works". 

"We absolutely must get past this question of is social media good or evil," says Sinan Aral. "The answer is 'yes'. The question is how are we going to harness the promise of social media and avoid the peril."

This episode was made with the help and support of the Democracy Group podcast network. Special thanks to Jenna Spinelle, Communications Specialist at the McCourtney Institute for Democracy

Recommendation: Richard recommends learning something new before we emerge from our constricted lockdown lives during the pandemic. In recent months, he has taken a course on Dante's Divine Comedy, learned how to build a fire, and operate a small powerboat.


See for privacy and opt-out information.