Social Media
Social Media
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Episode 154
Featuring Sinan Aral
Is social media a force for meaningful connection, collaboration, & social support? Or is it a propaganda machine that, left unchecked, will destroy democracy, civil society, & our health? This episode is the latest in a series of thoughtful conversations that we’ve hosted on technology, politics, & society.

In Episode 154 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Sinan Aral, MIT Professor and author of “The Hype Machine,” about the promise and the peril of social media.

Is social media a force for meaningful connection, collaboration, social support, and access to life-saving information? Or is it a propaganda machine that, left unchecked, will destroy democracy, civil society, and our health? Can the promise of social media be realized without the peril? Or are they inexorably linked?

This episode is the latest in a series of thoughtful conversations that we have hosted on Hidden Forces dealing with some of the more problematic issues surrounding social media and its influence on politics & society. Demetri’s conversations with Shoshana Zuboff and Rana Faroohar come most immediately to mind, but my episodes with Cal Newport on digital minimalism, Hanna Fry on artificial intelligence, and John Borthwick with whom we have explored numerous interesting philosophical questions are also very much worth revisiting for anyone interested in further exploring the topics discussed today.  

You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application.

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Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

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Episode Recorded on 09/04/2020

Sinan Aral is the David Austin Professor of Management at MIT, Professor of IT & Marketing, and Professor in the Institute for Data, Systems & Society where he co-leads MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy. He was the chief scientist at SocialAmp, one of the first social commerce analytics companies, and at Humin. He is currently a founding partner at Manifest Capital and on the Advisory Board of the Alan Turing Institute, the British National Institute for Data Science, in London. Sinan was the scholar-in-residence at the New York Times R&D Lab in 2013, and has worked closely with Facebook, Twitter, Snap, AirBnB, Yahoo, Jet.com, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Cisco, Oracle, SAP, and many other leading Fortune 500 firms on realizing business value from big data analytics, social media, and IT investments. His research has won numerous awards including the Microsoft Faculty Fellowship, the PopTech Science Fellowship, an NSF CAREER Award, and a Fulbright Scholarship. In 2014, he was named one of the “World’s Top 40 Business School Professors Under 40” by Businessweek. Sinan is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Northwestern University, holds Master’s degrees from the London School of Economics and Harvard University, and received his PhD from MIT.

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Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

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Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.



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