Big Tech, Populism, and Fake News: Social Media and Politics with Dr. Joyojeet Pal

Joyojeet Pal

In this special episode of The Burn Bag, Dr. Joyojeet Pal speaks to us about the intersection of social media and politics, especially in light of the spread of #FakeNews and the recent banning of President Donald Trump from Twitter. An Associate Professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information, Dr. Pal starts out by giving us a primer on how politicians like Barack Obama first used social media, before digging deep into populist messaging on Twitter and other platforms by leaders like Donald Trump and Narendra Modi. Our conversation further dives into how #FakeNews and other extreme speech spreads so quickly, and why it’s so effective at infiltrating the minds of so many, giving us some key examples of how this has worked.  We then evaluate whether social media companies can actually fight the spread of misinformation, what the implications of the Trump social media ban are, and how Big Tech and Governments are not seeing eye to eye, and perhaps even may not see eye to eye in the future, given the interests of the tech companies.

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