Events

Platforms for Deliberation or Disinformation? Social media and development

Hosted by the Department of International Development

Online public event

Speakers

Nanjala Nyabola

Nanjala Nyabola

Writer and Researcher

Idrees Ahmad

Idrees Ahmad

Director of Journalism at the University of Essex

Amil Khan

Amil Khan

Director and Founder of Valent Projects

Dr Kecheng Fang

Dr Kecheng Fang

Assistant Professor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Chair

Dr Laura Mann

Dr Laura Mann

Assistant Professor, Department of International Development, LSE

This panel examines the record of digital technologies and asks what we might do to re-engineer them to fulfil their early promise.

Fibre optic internet cables have now connected almost every part of the world into a giant web of networks. Pundits once claimed this infrastructure would allow everyone to raise her voice, speak her mind, learn from others and hold authorities to account. A decade on, a far more subdued mood has settled, with reports of targeted misinformation campaigns and nefarious surveillance the world over. This panel examines the record of digital technologies and asks what we might do to re-engineer them to fulfil their early promise. How might these infrastructures be used to generate more accurate information about contexts usually ignored or misconstrued by mainstream news outlets? How might we encourage users to actually listen and learn from those outside their own networks? How might we reconfigure these systems for deliberation and transparency, rather than divisiveness?

Speakers

Nanjala Nyabola is a writer and researcher based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her work focuses on the intersection between technology, media, and society. She is the author of Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics: How the Internet Era is Transforming Politics in Kenya (Zed Books, 2018) and Travelling While Black: Essays Inspired by a Life on the Move (Hurst Books, 2020).

Idrees Ahmad, is the Director of Journalism at the University of Essex. He is a founding editor of New Lines magazine and a contributing editor at the Los Angeles Review of books. He writes for the New York Review of Books, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, Times Literary Supplement, The Observer among others. He is on Twitter: @im_pulse.

Amil Khan is a former Reuters foreign correspondent and BBC investigative journalist. He started working with right-based groups in the Middle East when the Arab Spring kicked off. In 2020, seeing online manipulation emerge as a critical threat to journalists, activists and political movements across the world, he founded Valent Projects with the aim of levelling the playing field

Kecheng Fang is an Assistant Professor at the School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests include digital media, journalism, and political communication.

Chair

Laura Mann is a sociologist whose research focuses on the political economy of development, knowledge and technology. Her regional focus is East Africa (Sudan, Kenya and Rwanda) but she has also worked on collaborative research on ICTs and BPO in Asia and has conducted fieldwork in North America as part of a project on digitisation within global agriculture.

This talk is part of the Cutting Edge Issues in Development Thinking & Practice 2022 series, a high-profile lecture series run by the Department of International Development at LSE and organised by Dr Laura Mann and Professor in Practice Duncan Green.

The Department of International Development promotes interdisciplinary postgraduate teaching and research on processes of social, political and economic development and change. 

Twitter Hashtag for this series: #CuttingEdge2022

Captions

Automated live captions are available on the online webinar. Once you join the Zoom, you will be able to show or hide the subtitles by clicking on the “Live Transcript - CC” button, from where you can also change the font size and choose to view the full transcript. Please note that this feature uses Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology, or machine generated transcription, and is not 100% accurate.

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From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this online event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.

Whilst we are hosting this listing, LSE Events does not take responsibility for the running and administration of this event. While we take responsible measures to ensure that accurate information is given here this event is ultimately the responsibility of the organisation presenting the event.

How can I attend? Add to calendar

This event is free although registration is required. Please register here

Please email D.Patel20@lse.ac.uk for any queries about the event. 

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