Regulate Social Media? Jonathan Haidt Debates Robby Soave

Is it possible that platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are causing harm to Americans?

Jonathan Haidt was joined by Robby Soave for an Oxford-style discussion on government’s role in social media. The debate took place before capacity crowds at the Sheen Center, downtown Manhattan. The Soho Forum hosted the event, which is a monthly debate series that’s sponsored by Reason. Soho Forum Director Gene EpsteinAs moderator.

Haidt is a professor at New York University of Ethics LeadershipHeterodox Academy co-founder, supported the resolution of the debate.“The federal government must intensify efforts to decrease the negative effects of social media.”

Soave was the senior editor. ReasonThe author and editor of the just published Tech Panic: What We Can Do to Avoid Fearing Facebook’s Future. He Arguments were made that widespread criticisms of social media stem from our innate—and misguided—distrust of new technology. Soave also argued that social media, despite its shortcomings, has enormous net benefits. He claimed that “government force,” which is used to enforce laws, will do more harm than good.

Haidt is the author of an article recently published in AtlanticOn social media’s impact on mental health, Haidt pointed out that the platform was not originally intended for children under 18. These individuals could have been it’s victims. Haidt likened the platforms to sugar—best taken in moderation.

Narrated and narrated by Nick Gillespie. John Osterhoudt edits.