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Are social media platforms jeopardizing democracy?

On February 15, 2018, the Technical University Munich (TUM) welcomed the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan at TUM Speakers Series, who discussed the manipulation of political discussions within social media with the students.

More than 1000 visitors attentively followed Kofi Annan’s presentation in the Audimax, where he stated that social media had been seen as a remarkable achievement in Iran and in the Arab world a few years ago. Nevertheless, authoritarian regimes have been taken back control of the internet. Moreover, even democratic societies have recently been showing an alarming development: social media have become a platform for the manipulation of political discussions, hatred, discrimination and fake news. Kofi Annan emphasised that the same principles should be applied for social media as for conventional media: clear responsibilities and transparency. In addition, he requested the students to think critically and check the accuracy of their information sources.

The TUM Speakers Series were founded in 1999. The successfull event series is fully organized by students. Twenty to thirty students work on a honorary basis all year long in order to realize the events. Nonetheless, TUM’s president Prof. Dr. Dr. Wolfgang Hermann helps finding and inviting speaker for the event series. The discussions are led by the students, who receive special trainings on presentation techniques. For the last four years, Simon Dietlmeier, who follows the master’s program Management & Technology at TUM School of Management, has been the head of the organization team.

More information can be found here.

The whole discussion can be found here.

This news was first published on tum.de

 

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