We know from social psychology that spaces shape the behavior inside them. Thinking of social media platforms as spaces helps to both elucidate some of the common problems in today's tech platforms and suggest a potential roadmap for potential solutions. And it allows us to draw parallels with learnings from urban studies and urban planning -- after all, cities were the original platforms, and they have had to respond to many of the same challenges that tech platforms are facing today. In this public lecture as part of his Herbert Sidney Langfeld Visiting Lectureship with the Kahneman-Treisman Center and the Department of Psychology, Pariser will lay out his framework for applying urban planning elements to creating healthier digital spaces.
Eli Pariser is an author, activist, and entrepreneur focused on how to make technology and media serve democracy. In 2004, at 23, he became Executive Director of MoveOn.org, where he helped pioneer the practice of online citizen engagement. In 2006, he co-founded Avaaz, now the world’s largest citizen’s organization. His bestselling 2011 book The Filter Bubble introduced the term to the lexicon. And Upworthy, the media startup he co-founded in 2012, reached hundreds of millions of visitors with civically important content. He is currently Omidyar Fellow at the New America Foundation.