The media fervor that followed special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of a Russian internet organization for intentionally sowing discord in the US political system has missed one crucial implication: We still know far too little about the potential impact of social media on individuals and society.
Catherine Brooks (@catfbrooks) is an associate professor of information at the University of Arizona, where she is also the associate director of the School of Information and founding director of the Center for Digital Society and Data Studies. She is a Public Voices fellow with the Op Ed Project.
Ironically, this problem could be easily addressed. If Facebook truly embraces the vision, expressed in January by co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, to make products that are “good for people’s well being,” the company needs to provide academic researchers far broader access to its data.
Zuckerberg has voiced