Censorship, Social Media, and the Presidential Election presented at Hope 2016

by Elissa Shevinsky,

Summary : There is increasing interest in the ability of companies like Facebook and Twitter to influence elections. What are the roles and responsibilities of these companies to be fair and impartial? Newspapers express bias and endorse candidates. Facebook employees have even asked if they have a responsibility to (try to) prevent Donald Trump from becoming elected. Twitter has been accused of censoring tweets supporting Donald Trump, while also allegedly censoring posts that were unfavorable to Hillary Clinton. While that is certainly legal, is it acceptable to us as citizens? If not, what can we do about it? And what makes our expectations of bias from Twitter different from our expectations of The New York Times or The Daily News? This talk is an exploration of the ways that social media can influence elections, and what that means for us as citizens.