Why some biologists and ecologists think social media is a risk to humanity

“My sense is that social media in particular — as well as a broader range of internet technologies, including algorithmically driven search and click-based advertising — have changed the way that people get information and form opinions about the world.

And they seem to have done so in a manner that makes people particularly vulnerable to the spread of misinformation and disinformation.”

“What we’re concerned about is the fact that this information ecosystem has developed to optimize something orthogonal to things that we think are extremely important, like being concerned about the veracity of information or the effect of information on human well-being, on democracy, on health, on the ecosystem.”

“The printing press came out and upended history. We’re still recovering from the capacity that the printing press gave to Martin Luther. The printing press radically changed the political landscape in Europe. And, you know, depending on whose histories you go by, you had decades if not centuries of war [after it was introduced].”