Powerful Networks

Ethan Zuckerman on Facebook's News Feed Change and author Niall Ferguson on the power of networks.

By Allen McDuffee | February 12, 2018
Photo credit: Vecteezy

Facebook news feed changes are coming after the Silicon Valley giant has increasingly come under fire for having a negative impact on politics and for making the proliferation of fake (and divisive) news that much easier. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the changes are meant to make everybody “feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health.” Publishers are among those bemoaning the changes, but so are Facebook users who say they want control over the network connections and choices they’ve made.

On this episode, I talk to Ethan Zuckerman, the director for the Center for Civic Media at MIT, about Facebook and how their changing your feed. And in the book chat, I speak with Niall Ferguson of the Hoover Institution about his new book on the (very long) history and power of networks, The Square and The Tower.

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Ethan Zuckerman is director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, and an Associate Professor of the Practice at the MIT Media Lab. His research focuses on the use of media as a tool for social change, the role of technology in international development, and the use of new media technologies by activists. He is the author of Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection. Follow him on Twitter: @EthanZ

Niall Ferguson, MA, D.Phil., is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior fellow of the Center for European Studies, Harvard, where he served for twelve years as the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History. His newest book is The Square and The Tower. Follow him on Twitter: @nfergus

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The governmentality podcast was produced and edited by Michele Zipkin. The show’s music was composed and performed by Jeremy Carlstedt.