The Dark Side of Democratization

No one can dispute the power that democratized publishing affords us. After all, anyone today can start a website and be heard by the world. And of course, WordPress has played a central role in all this. At the same time, the power granted by democratization has led to unforeseen consequences. From the persistence of misinformation to the proliferation of content designed to manipulate our emotions, from the polarization of politics to the spread of radicalism, all of these can be attributed in some way to the ease with which anyone can find a voice on the internet today. My talk will therefore 1) describe the problems democratization can create, and 2) discuss potential solutions. As the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility.”