The Deliberative Media Lab was a rotating lab of the UVA Democracy Initiative from 2019 to 2022. The lab focused on research, public outreach and teaching in the realm of deliberation and the health of democracy around the world.
A major project of the lab was the development of the podcast Democracy in Danger, which remains in production under the new Karsh Institute of Democracy. For now, you can still find all those episodes — and new ones — on our pages.
Are Social Media Good for Democracy?
Social media can bring like-minded people together and be a powerful force for change. But they can also erode the norms and institutions of a democratic society by reinforcing factionalism, undermining constructive dialogue, and lending credence to misinformation.
Healthy democratic republics thrive on motivation and deliberation. Access to expertise and information motivates citizens to build meaningful narratives and take constructive action, and open, transparent forums create opportunities for productive deliberation and negotiation to take place.
The Deliberative Media Lab addressed the problems posed by social media by analyzing the current media landscape and prescribing technologies and ethical practices that promote and foster the kind of effective deliberation that healthy democratic societies require.
The Lab was a program of the Democracy Initiative at UVA.