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Symposium to Explore Democracy and Social Media

March 25, 2021

On Wednesday, April 7, St. John Fisher College will host a daylong symposium exploring the intersections between social media and democracy.

Social Media Icons on a Phone

The event, which begins at 12:25 p.m., will take place via Zoom (Meeting ID: 952 4724 9473) and is organized by the Department of Media and Communication and the School of Arts and Sciences.

Fisher faculty from a variety of disciplines will explore media, ethics, the First Amendment, online radicalization, and social media influencers, among other topics.

“We’ve seen in politics over the last few years the degree to which online conversations have influenced political outcomes. These media effects are global and powerful and this suggests a need to better understand how it all works,” said Jeremy Sarachan, chair of the Department of Media and Communication. “Attendees will have a better understanding of how to critically think about the effects of social media on politics and society.”

Dr. Andrew Schrock, founder of the Aloi Research and Consulting, will deliver the keynote address at 7 p.m. An instructor at the School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California Annenberg, Schrock’s research focuses on the relationship between emerging technologies, such as mobile media and open data, and civic engagement and learning. The author of Civic Tech, his writing considers how grassroots groups and governments can ethically use emerging technologies to improve life for residents.

Symposium Schedule

12:25 p.m.: “Media and Ethics: A Buddhist Philosophical Perspective”
Dr. Rob Ruehl, Philosophy Department

12:55 p.m.: “The First Amendment Isn’t Going to Save Our Democracy, So What Will?”
Dr. Dougie Bicket, Department of Media and Communication

1:35 p.m.: “Online Radicalization: Is It Already Too Late for Media Literacy?”
Dr. Jim Bowman, English Department

2:05 p.m.: “The Power of a Good Story: Media’s Role in the Racialized Culture of Drug Crime Reporting”
Dr. Jenna Rossi, American Studies Department

2:45 p.m.: “Misinformation and Public Epistemology”
Dr. Jack Rosenberry, Department of Media and Communication

3:15 p.m.: Break

3:55 p.m.: “Paid to Post: Social Media Influencers”
Arien Rozelle, Department of Media and Communication

4:25 p.m.: “Silicon Valley, Private Ownership, and the Free Market”
Jeremy Sarachan, Department of Media and Communication

7 p.m.: Keynote Address “Rebuilding America? Public Sector Technology Design and the Promise of Infrastructural Politics” featuring Dr. Andrew Schrock, School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California Annenberg