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Ethan Oro

Ethan Oro

Ethan Oro

Computer Science
“Digital and Democratic Public Space”

The Internet’s impact on the public sphere is difficult to parse; increased access to information, decreased cost of content production and limitless possibilities for free and instant association would seem to exemplify democratic ideals and champion the use of common reason to inform public-political debates.  Our intuitions of the past ten years, however, may paint a different narrative. The decentralization of idea generation and expression shook journalistic norms and shattered public confidence in the media’s truthfulness. Habermas’s initial construction of the public sphere itself relates to the social space generated in communicative action, referring neither to the content nor to the function of the discourse that occurs there; I plan to further interrogate how the reconstruction of digital social space can help the public sphere congeal closer to deliberative democratic ideals.