Meet Up 1
16:15 - 17:15
Social Media Monitoring and how to build better Alternatives - Meetup

Short thesis

After much hype about the liberating potential of social media, we now have serious doubts. In 2016 reportedly 18 elections were affected by online manipulations. Far too little is still known about social media's impact on democracy and elections in particular. We need to be more co-ordinated and more skilled in monitoring social media. And: we should not lose sight of the upside. The internet does provide space for free expression. How can we better full-fill this potential and build tools for participation and constructive communication?


In the aftermath of the US and other elections, how often did we hear that “something strange” was happening in social media, but people weren’t quite sure what? More than one year later, we learned of a foreign influence campaign, though much still remains unclear. How much longer can we rely only on the vague feeling that “something strange” is happening? Beyond obligations to social media companies, civil society also needs to be become more effective, skilled and co-ordinated in monitoring social media. A strong, well-informed public is the best antidote to computational propaganda.

And can we do more to exploit teh internet's potential for decentralized and democratic participation? Could we build media that are more social than the ones we have? In this meet-up we discuss how we can better monitor social media to expose abuse and how we can build better tools altogether.