The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have become flashpoints for what ails democracy. But what if the technologies that power public discourse could serve society’s best interests instead of undermining them? William Powers, CEO of Public Mind, best-selling author, and former Washington Post columnist, has dedicated the last 15 years to rethinking the role of these technologies in our individual and collective lives.
Join William Powers in conversation with Bina Venkataraman, editor-at-large for The Boston Globe and fellow in the Technology and Public Purpose Program at Belfer, for an in-person discussion on inventing a new future for social media.