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2017 #SMSociety Theme: Social Media for Social Good or Evil

Our online behaviour is far from virtual–it extends our offline lives. Much social media research has identified the positive opportunities of using social media; for example, how people use social media to form support groups online, participate in political uprising, raise money for charities, extend teaching and learning outside the classroom, etc. However, mirroring offline experiences, we have also seen social media being used to spread propaganda and misinformation, recruit terrorists, live stream criminal activities, reinforce echo chambers by politicians, and perpetuate hate and oppression (such as racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic behaviour).

avatar for Lee Rainie

Lee Rainie

Pew Research Center
Director
Lee Rainie is the director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, which has studied the social impact of digital technologies since 2000. He gives several dozen speeches a year to government officials, media leaders, scholars and students, technology executives, librarians, and non-profit groups about the changing media ecosystem. He also regularly interviewed by major news organizations about technology trends. Rainie is a co-author of Networked: The New Social Operating System and five books about the future of the Internet that are drawn from Pew Internet research. Prior to launching the Pew Internet Project, he was managing editor of U.S. News & World Report.