Kent State’s School of Communication Studies to Host Politically Themed Fall Colloquium Series
Kent State University’s School of Communication Studies will host its fall Colloquium Series beginning Friday, Oct. 7, at 2:30 p.m. in Franklin Hall, Room 312/314. The series will kick off with a presentation from Assistant Professor Michael Beam, titled “Resisting the Filter Bubble: Examining the Positive Impact of Using Social Media for Reading and Sharing Online News.”
Beam’s presentation will include analyses of survey data collected during the last two U.S. election cycles focused on the impact of reading and sharing news through social media. He also will discuss how the “Filter Bubbles,” or partisan echo chambers, do not necessarily emerge when people rely on personalized online news recommendations.
“There is a notion that the internet and, in particular, an algorithmic system like the Facebook newsfeed is harming democracy through isolating users from opposing viewpoints, but that really isn’t the case,” Beam says. “I hope to engage students and faculty in a critical discussion about the ways we interact with political information.”
Beam’s presentation will discuss how personalized recommendations and even diverse personal relationships shape the type of news individuals read and share on social media. He says his data illustrates the positive democratic potential of personalized online news systems, but will acknowledge some negative outcomes as well.
The presentation is free and all faculty and graduate students are invited to attend. The series provides an opportunity for faculty and students to foster intellectual and collaborative discussions and to stay informed about current research efforts. This semester, each colloquium will have a political focus.
The dates for future Fall 2016 Semester colloquia are:
- Friday, Nov. 4
- Friday, Dec. 2