World’s top social media thinkers to discuss threats to democracy – and solutions – at PPF public event on Wednesday, April 4

Date: Tuesday April 3, 2018

Over the past month, the role digital platforms play in our democracy has dominated the news, sparked public outcry and become a priority for governments around the world.

On April 4, the Public Policy Forum and the University of British Columbia School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, in partnership with the National Arts Centre, are hosting a discussion with some of the world’s leading experts on social media, including Jonathan Albright, Ben Scott, Julia Angwin, David Carroll, Sue Gardner and Taylor Owen.

“PPF continues to build on the seminal research and recommendations of The Shattered Mirror,” said Edward Greenspon, President and CEO of the Public Policy Forum. “At a time when we need to weigh new threats to the health of our democratic culture and social cohesion, we’re delighted to host some of the finest minds on the subject.”

Event details

Social Media and Democracy: What Can Be Done?

Where: National Arts Centre, Pacific Room

When: Wednesday, April 4, 4:45 – 7:15 p.m.

Tickets: Eventbrite

The event will be streamed live at


Speakers and panelists

Jonathan Albright, a leading researcher studying the complex world of misinformation on digital platforms, will kick off the evening with a presentation on his research and an overview of the issues surrounding social media and democracy.

A discussion on what can be done will follow. Panelists include: 

  • Julia Angwin, a leading journalist at ProPublica who is holding Silicon Valley accountable
  • Ben Scott, a technology policy expert who has worked for Bernie Sanders, the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign
  • David Carroll, the American academic who broke open the Cambridge Analytica story through his lawsuit in the U.K.
  • Sue Gardner, the former executive director of Wikimedia Foundation who now advises policy organizations on technology, media, gender and freedom

The panel will be moderated by UBC professor and PPF Fellow Taylor Owen.

See the full agenda and speaker biographies.

Back to top