The Private Square:democracy and the attention economy

This week, we are continuing our series on the theme of democracy and technology by bringing you a conversation with Ram Fish, on the impact of social media on democratic institutions and civil discourse. We talk about the existential threat that social media poses to democratic norms, the erosion of civil discourse in the attention economy, and where else in the world we might look for hope in leading us out of democratic decline. And, finally–because we don’t like leaving our audience with a doomsday prophecy–Ram proposes policies that might productively change the tide of partisan politics on social media platforms.

Ram Fish is the CEO of 19Labs. Throughout his career in Apple, Samsung, Nokia, as well as Co-Founder CEO of three startups, he specializes in leading interdisciplinary special consumer projects, bridging technology, consumer needs, and business & regulatory constraints. 

Mr. Fish has an MBA from Yale University as well as Computer Engineering Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Case Western Reserve University, where he is also a lecturer in Technology Management.

He has authored many articles on the topic of democracy, ethics, and technology, including, most recently “Twitter fact-checking Trump: Good intentions. Wrong approach. And a proposal for how to do it right,” and Four proposals to neutralize social media’s threat to democracies, co-authored with Professor Chimène Keitner.

This episode was produced by Matt Perry.

Art by Desi Aleman.

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