Data versus Democracy

Data vs. Democracy (Part 1)

They say we are in the Information Age and that data is the new oil. But many (including my guest, Kris Shaffer) are saying that was is truly valuable today is attention, not information. Information is so plentiful now that it almost has no value. And because just about everything on the internet is free, we’re paying for it with our attention. Marketers have gone to great lengths to study human behavior and they know exactly how to get and keep our attention. Unfortunately, these techniques can also be used to distract us and manipulate us. We’ll discuss this and much more in today’s interview (part 1 of 2).

Kris Shaffer, PhD (Yale University, 2011), is a data scientist and Senior Computational Disinformation Analyst for Yonder. He co-authored “The Tactics and Tropes of the Internet Research Agency”, a report prepared for the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Kris has consulted for multiple U.S. government agencies, non-profits, and universities on matters related to digital disinformation, data ethics, and digital pedagogy. Kris is the author of Data versus Democracy: How Big Data Algorithms Shape Opinions and Alter the Course of History, published July 2019 by Apress.

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