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Podcast: Libby Hemphill discusses the role and responsibility of social media in DC insurgence

Friday, 01/08/2021

Libby Hemphill, associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Information and Associate Director of the Center for Social Media Responsibility, sat down with Nikki Sunstrum, U-M Director of Social Media and Public Engagement, to discuss the role that social media played in the events that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol this week, including the implications of social media platform sanctions against President Donald Trump, their responsibility as gatekeepers of public information, and the evolution of online connectivity—including the emergence of Parler.

“I worry that President Trump is not actually the problem—or that a single account is not actually the problem—because the person’s account, and their ability to post often becomes the virtual place where their supporters gather,” says Hemphill. “So the danger is not just in what Donald Trump says, but it’s in the organizing that occurs in the comments about what he has said.”

Listen to the full conversation.

Related:
Ad-free, censorship-free social sites MeWe, Parler see surge in interest postelection

- Jessica Webster, UMSI PR Specialist