Technology and new media are facilitating a rapid shift in the ways in which we consume news. In the shift from print to digital, companies like Facebook – and the algorithms it engineers – are replacing traditional editors and publishers. The result is “surveillance capitalism”: a powerful system that can target specific groups to sell products, political ideas and fake news. In this lecture, Taylor Owen breaks down the challenges that these new social structures pose to civic discourse, as well as the governance problems at the core of our democracies in this new media landscape.
Taylor Owen has been a member of CIGI’s board of directors since 2015. He is an assistant professor of digital media and global affairs at the University of British Columbia and a senior fellow at the Columbia Journalism School. He is the founder of the international affairs website OpenCanada.org.