On Friday 27th September, The Vienna Humanities Festival & viennacontemporary held a debate on social media and its impact upon society and politics.
A decade ago social networks, big data and artificial intelligence were welcomed for their promise of progress and their democratisation of access. Today, the focus has shifted to their dark side as a threat to our privacy, a danger to democracy and a new form of surveillance. And, this debate brings together three of the world’s leading activists of the electronic age gather to discuss our digital future.
Our first speaker, Roger McNamee, was an early advisor to Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg, but has become one of his fiercest critics and his much-acclaimed book, Zucked, is a far-reaching indictment of the way the social media giant deals with data security.
Our second speaker, Evgeny Morozov, gained prominence with his book, The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom, a prophetically early warning about the dangers of the digital age.
And, our third speaker, the Austrian data protection lawyer, Max Schrems, became a global celebrity when he took Facebook to court for privacy violations.
The conversation was led by IWM Rector Shalini Randeria.
This debate is part of the Vienna Humanities Festival, whose English-language recordings we will look to publish in the days and weeks following the festival. The full recording of this debate can be found at the top of the page and all other VHF recordings will be announced on our social media channels (see below) and linked to via the main festival page.
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If you enjoy this debate and are hungry for more Vienna Humanities Festival material, then you can also access the complete archive of Vienna Humanities Festival debate recordings in the retrospective section of the official festival website (in German).