Saturday 20 October, 12.15pm until 1.15pm, Conservatory
There are plenty of reasons, it seems, to champion social media. For some, it played a key role in the Arab uprisings, allowing the disparate and the silenced to give voice to their struggles. In the West, too, social media is deemed increasingly vital to public life, be it President Obama’s high-profile tweeting strategy, or influential Twitter- or Facebook-driven campaigns around certain issues. And as Facebook’s multibillion-dollar floatation showed, there is money to be made too. But is the rise of social media as great a positive force as its champions claim? Are there downsides to the social-media revolution? Is the private sphere in the process of being rendered all too public? And what about free speech? Has the rise of social media facilitated the rise of the twitchunts, and other forms of near instantaneous censure? Or are the criticisms as misplaced as the hype?
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entrepreneur; founder, Audiocafe.com; author, Digital Vertigo: how today's online social revolution is dividing, diminishing, and disorienting us
|Dr Norman Lewis|
director (innovation), PwC; co-author, Big Potatoes: the London manifesto for innovation
Dr Tim Black
editor, Spiked Review
For years, the microblogging service beloved by the celebrity crowd was ridiculed for ignoring the hard question of how to make money. So what happens when Twitter finally gets serious about profits?Richard Waters, Financial Times, 12 September 2012
For many of these supposed social-media visionaries, the death of privacy is no different, in principle, from the retirement of the horse and cart or the disappearance of gaslights from city streets.Andrew Keen, Forbes, 23 May 2012
Connected individuals have rallied crowds, created vast audiences and toppled political establishments by communicating their message through social networks.Marc Benioff, BBC News, 11 May 2012
Welcome to this brave new, digitally-connected world that has blown up the barriers between our public and private selvesGary Younge, Guardian, 2 April 2012
Yes, if FB were a country it would be the third largest. It would also be the most unproductive country ever.Norman Lewis, spiked, 15 February 2012
There seem to be no large Google initiatives – however seemingly tangential to the company’s core competency, and unhelpful to its bottom line – that don’t bring as a side benefit, or as the main benefit, an enormous amount of data to Google.Daniel Soar, London Review of Books, October 2011
Civil disobedience or violent criminality?
"The Battle of Ideas was a great success; it enabled large numbers of people to hear and interact with well-known speakers who have thought about and contributed significantly to the discussions of many important issues."
Richard Swinburne, emeritus professor, philosophy of religion, University of Oxford; author, 'The Existence of God and The Evolution of the Soul'