tv C-SPAN Weekend CSPAN November 29, 2009 10:30am-1:00pm EST
copenhagen? >> he has been identified as selling the message on energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives that the united states has taken. there is a $80 billion in the economics. they have a squad devoted specifically to grenoble's. he will make the case to europeans, africans, asians that even in absence of legislation, this spending will produce u.s. emissions that are lower. >> you asked about india and china. what did you hear? >> i think the administration hopes that if they can get india and china to commit to something, and later so progress in copenhagen, it will help them. one of the biggest criticisms there is, and one that
resonates, is why do something that will hurt us economically when china and india, out who will produce huge amounts of carbon dioxide, are not doing it? i think the administration, correctly or not, seems to think that it can get china to do things. in the same respect, they also have made clear that the administration is getting ready to make deals in congress. maybe do some more of nuclear. right now they're short in the senate, and almost all republicans saying it can hurt places like ohio and pushed jobs
overseas, perhaps to china. so that might be where they think copenhagen can help them on the bill. >> thank you both for your time. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> up next, a form on the impact of the internet on the democratic process. after that, a conversation with chris hughes, one of the founders of facebook. and then carry on huffington, john dean, and others discussed the future of capitalism. this week, naomi klein, a journalist, activist, and author of best-selling books of the " no logo -- selling books, "no
logo" and "the shot doctor and." >> sworn having voted in the affirmative, motion is agreed to. >> with that vote, the senate moves its health care bill to the floor starting monday and through december. follow the debate and how the bill would affect access to medicare, the public option, taxes, and abortion, live on our companion network, c-span-2, the only network that brings you the senate -- to-devil. -- -- two-gavel -- gavel-to- gavl.
>> technology plays an important role in human experience and identity, but in academic institutions, those to tend to be very much separated. the panel that you will hear today demonstrates how powerful it can be to bring together a sensitive, sympathetic, yet critical awareness of technology with the insights of humanity and social sciences. the theme of this year's conference is technology, democracy, and citizenship, part of a larger effort that we are organizing called technology and democracy. it is a collaborative effort.
we hope to collaborate further with other people on the ground. those of you have been around here will know that you get inhabit of invoking the name of thomas jefferson. much of the time, it is completely inappropriate. in this case, it absolutely is not. as some of you know, jefferson was very interested in technology. "wired" magazine called him a technology, which was not accurate. he liked gadgets, but he was more interested in the role technology to play in flourishing democracy. i think he would approve of our efforts to think in the 21st century about how technology specifically the internet can be used as a resource to maintain vitality of democracy. so thank you all for being here, and thank you to the miller
center for granting the panel. >> thank you. as assistant director for academic programs here at the center, i welcome you here this afternoon. it is great that you came out here on this rainy friday afternoon. the mission is to research, reflect, and report on issues of national importance to the governance of the united states, and certainly this panel discussion on the liberty of democracy and the internet races that mission. our featured speaker this afternoon is james fish can, the janet m. peck chair in international communication and its director of the center for deliberative democracy at stanford.
i asked kay who for dream speaker might be, and without hesitation, she told me it was jim. that was an endorsement i embraced. jim is a renowned theorist, and among that tribe, he is the one who led spot most expansively about the uneasy relationship between self-government and technology. the best is known for developing collaborative polling, and the almost persuaded me at lunch today that that is not an oxymoron. that is his practice of conducting random samples of citizenry to explore how the opinions of individual men and women change as they become informed about critical issues. jim and his collaborators have conducted delivered to polls not only in the united states but also in places such as england, northern ireland, australia,
china, and greece. he is always in airplanes, which made getting him was a challenge. he has written to many books to mention, but i do want to endorse his most recent, hot off the presses, "when the people speak: deliberative democracy and public confrontation," which oxford will publish october 11. but we have copies here today, and jim will hold a book signing at the end of our session. his talk will highlight the core argument and some of these central findings, so i will not say anything more about it, but safe to say it is a wonderful, a rare mix of deep political theory and cheerful attention to practical challenges of making
democracy work. although it might be appropriate for us to celebrate jim and his work on this panel, that would not be much fun. so i have asked to give you distinguished colleagues from the media studies program to respond to his remarks and offer him some tough love. to my immediate left, we have someone who arrived from and why you as a leading cultural historian and media scholar. he has been interested in exploring how the internet has affected intellectual property, but he also has written brilliantly about of the digital revolution has affected the most fundamental values and routine practices of our lives. his most recent book, " the anarchist in the library, published 2004, offers a treatise on how technology
highlights the eternal cultural struggle between oligarchy and anarchy. a new book on the google-ization of everything, with possibilities for the dissemination of information. deciding what is true and is not true in the world. jennifer peterson, we are delighted to have heard. she joined in 2008 after receiving her ph.d. at the university of texas and
completing a teaching appointment at tulane university. her scholarship focuses on how such rowdy, race, and geography and the way things are meeting, determining legal practices and shipping the public view. she is working on a book manuscript, murder, media, and the politics of public feeling. it investigates the responses to the murders of matthew shepard in laramie, wyoming, and james burton, jr., in jasper, texas. both of these in 1998. she is especially interested in how the powerful emotions from these crimes shaved public discourse and policy. so with those interruptions, we will start with you.
>> since i'm interested in survival in the modern age of democratic values that are very close to the founders, i think that is kroeber it -- appropriate. my normative presumptions about the public is that there are two of you impulses. one is inclusion of everybody, and the founders were not that good at that, but american history is a progress towards greater inclusion, and paul clemons -- thoughtfulness. we want to consult public when they are thinking rather than when they are not thinking. that is a basic notion. and the question is how to combine inclusion and thoughtfulness. how could we consult the public in a way that represents everybody under conditions where they can think?
because consulting the public has to involve the consent of the governed in a democratic society, and you certainly want the thoughtful, the informed and thoughtful consent, rather than the uninformed. you do not want to consent to a medical procedure if you only have part of the information or you had not thought about it. many of the consequences of public policy are just as drastic as any medical procedure, but for entire communities, nations. our republic began with an emphasis on the fault pull most part -- thoughtfulness part. madison said preparing for the constitution that he would practice success infiltrations of public a fenian. as he said in federalist 10, he was interested in the notion of
representatives would refine and large public use by putting to them to the media of the chosen body of citizens, and he thought the deliberations would better serve the public interest to them with the people themselves to just convened for the purpose. when i first read that many years ago, i was puzzled, but i realized he was talking about the difference between raw public opinion, where people have not really discussed it, and the kind of deliberation he expected from representatives. but he would not even call the initial design a democracy. people killed socrates, and democracy had a bad aim. so successes the alterations,
the state legislations would elect the senate, the convention would be a small body that could deliberate. we're sitting here in a replica of the house of burgesses. you see the scale of deliberation. even though this is a large audience for academia, it is a small audience, for those who can deliberate together. it is not mass democracy. i live in california, home of mass democracy with the legacy of the progressives, who were thinking on this scale and we get the california special elections and televised this leading propositions and all of the craziness that referendum and recall elections have. so you are familiar with all this. so by the way, the initial elite
deliberation view is that madison thought a small part of an elite body would deliberate, and that was challenged immediately, as some of you may hear, in less historical-minded universities. i found that students never knew this, or colleagues. there was only one state that actually voted directly on the constitution because the states had to approve the constitution ratifying conventions. the only state that voted directly on it was ruled island, voting it down. they voted it down, and there was an interesting debate that a discussed in here when the people speak about conception of democracy.
the federalist boycotted the referendum, saying-you cannot have everybody vote, they will never discussed the issues, people will not know. even in little road island. where is it so spacious that they can gather together? so they said everybody has a right to vote, and connecticut threaten to invade from one side, massachusetts from the other. if you have referendum democracy, you have politically equal but uninformed masses. you have the kind in the
building that is the recovery of, politically unwit -- unequal but more informed. to my surprise, i think there is an easy way out of the dilemma, but i do not want to offer it as a panacea and say it should be used for everything, but it is a remedy that can be used at strategic moments for specific purposes. i thought i thought of it, but in fact it goes back ancient athens, where the athenians would have deliberating my problems chosen by lot. and what is a lot but a random sample? you can see in the museum of the form that the remnants of this machine, something you'd find
and a bingo game. there were other institutions in athens that made important decisions done that way. and the reason it was done that way, the deliberating microcosm can deliberate, but it is an empirical question. it represents political equality, because everyone has an equal chance to be part of it and have their views out equally. it is a way out of this dilemma of democracy without the liberation or elite deliberation with inequality.
microcosmic deliberation is the practical way of getting delivered to of democracy, and that is the combination of political equality and deliberation. the less compelling way is how you might get everyone deliberating, but just as you do not need everybody to consol, ought to get their conventional public opinions, you do not get everyone to deliberate to get their deliver to the opinions. you can do that with a scientific sample and represent what the public would think under transparently good conditions, provided that you do it properly. so the problems that lead, that
justify being interested in deliberative democracy rather than top of the head conventional sound bite to marseille -- democracy, these problems have been made worse by the internet, but also the remedy is actually easier on the internet, because when we do these projects, we cut the cost by 90%, as i will explain. it is potentially an opportunity to spread, enhance, and develop the practice of the liberty of democracy online. and by the way, the thing that made the athenian democracy work for the citizens and males and not for the slaves, not for the medics, like aristotle was a medic and in on this and without a vote, the way this worked is
they consult the people so frequently that everybody thought it would have a chance to be consulted, so there was a rotation method, in addition. nevertheless, there are prospects for deliberative democracy online that make it easier. when i did the first national american delivery pull with pbs called the issues convention in 1996, and i will get to what it is exactly, but imagine transporting a microcosm of america, hundreds of people to a single place. we had to pay them, provide them with hotels, had to get an official airline, american airlines became the official airline so we could get cheap tickets. imagine all the things i don't need if we do this online. technology makes a big difference.
so -- >> i am not ready for this. well, there are two basic questions consulting the public. who are selected, and what are their opinion? if you look at this chart, i want to focus on the first category. self-selection with raw or a of public opinion. my colleague, norman brad byrne, came up with a term. slops. sell selected opinion polls. they first became apparent in radio, where there would be viewer call ins. but now there are common on the internet. look at cnn or any web site and people vote in all the time.
slops told us ron paul was a leading presidential candidate of either party, even though he barely registered a net any polls, and the same for alan keyes in an earlier cycle. you may remember when country decided to have a public consultation about a bridge being made, stephen cfolbert decided he wanted it named after him, so he let a campaign vote on the bridge be named after him on the internet, and he got millions and millions of votes. then the hungarians thought it had to be named after someone who could least speak hungarian, so he took lessons and spoken. on the air. then the country said, well, it had to be named after somebody dead. so colbert dropped out, but he
got more votes than the population of hungary than by far. when the obama administration decided they would have the citizens briefing vote during the transition where people could vote on proposals, about where the most urgent issues facing the country, the issue that the internet consultation, by far, was legalized marijuana. and then, when there was a consultation more recently that they have about how to improve technology on the internet, it was legalize internet gambling. so you can see that there are going to be sincere but unrepresentative views that can dominate sell selected -- self
selected views on the internet. sincere but unrepresentative views are one problem, but the internet makes it easy to amplify and spread misinformation and part with permission. i think we have finally found the wmd. by that, i mean weapons of mass destruction. -- distraction. there are dangers factoids, false or highly incomplete, that spread on the internet and completely distorts the public discussion. death panels, obsessions, conspiracies about the real sources of 9/11, perhaps pinned on the bush administration through some fantasy or another on a left.
there are rumors getting spread , and they are picked up by small fringe people who feel strongly about it who spread them further. so crowd sourcing definitely has -- these things get picked up an amplified and they take on a life of their own. the solve selection program can be solved by scientific sampling. just as we live through a face to face, we lived through the summer of the town halls, and those because i went to one in my local community, we could barely get near it in palo alto, and people had strange signs about the fascist health care and all kinds of things you have seen pointed to in the media.
and then mobilization creates an impression, this is amplified, it disgusts -- it gets discussed further in the bloggers fear, but it is not representative, of course. i just want to say that if you look at the -- i just want to note that slops are neither representative nor delivered it. you can have a collaborative groups on the internet, but they are often on balance, and one of the problems, one of the ways the discussion goes awry, and it look as recently been written about this called "going to extremes," when people are motivated and the like discuss
things with themselves, they move to further extremity. so if you want a context for balanced discussion, rather than on balanced discussion. so self-selection is a problem, scientific samples can represent the public, but they represent the public's top of the head impressions of sound bites and headlines, not of limitations of public opinion. i should mention one of the other historical anecdotes i built up to in the book, that gallup, when he started the opinion poll, started to bring democracy of the new england town meeting to large-scale nation state. the idea was radio and newspapers, sending out the views leading on either side, the public would think about it and would reflect their views back in the public opinion poll, which he then felt was a serious
instrument, calling it the sampling referendum. he said it would be as if the country is in one great room. the trouble is that he did not know, and he said it would realize the democracy of the town meeting on a national scale in a speech he gave in 1936. . >> the three problems with public opinion are rational ignorance, phantom opinions and the selectivity of sources.
rational ignorance is a term that goes back -- social scientists have recognized it -- if i have one vote in millions, why should i pay attention to the details of policy or politics? because my individual vote or opinion will not have much effect, and all of us have a lot more to do in our busy lives. would that it were otherwise. we would like for citizens to spend the time and effort to become informed. but there is a collective action problem. each of us only as a tiny effect. separately, -- in that sense, it is rational not to spend a lot of time becoming informed. phantom opinions. some of the opinions reported in polls are top of the head or may not exist.
the researcher at the university of cincinnati studied the public affairs act, which was fictional. 20 years later, "the washington post" decided to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the public affairs act and by asking people whether they wanted to repeal it. they split the sample. half was told democrats -- the republican congress wanted to repeal it. half was told that then president clinton wanted to repeal it. and they got a very different results, based on that little bit of misinformation. it did not exist in the first place. selectivity of sources. i have already referred to sunsetin. tein. it is the problem that if people are free to consult whomever they want, even if people do
talk about politics or policy, or go to the web or consult new sources, it is more congenial to consult those who knew tend to agree with. confirming sources may even be more easily remembered. those from similar social occasions find it easier to talk to each other. do we ever get the other side? if you know somebody whom you really disagree with politically, it may be a lot easier to talk about the weather then to really talk to them about a difficult issue. because there now and up -- there may not be a safe public space. you may be afraid of having difficult words with them. selectivity of sources, both online and face-to-face, leads to a partial representation of the viewpoints and basic information.
as negroponte and sunstein called it, we may be moving from the daily "we" to the daily "me." you may learn about as much about the world as you would learn from looking at yourself in the mirror. you do not learn anything new. you confirm what you already knew. now, so, i believe democracy is a matter of democratic -- of design, of institutional design. now i want to tell you how we implement this notion of microcosmic deliberation that i took from the athenians. we implemented both face-to- face and online. first i will talk about face-to- face. we take a scientific sample, we give them a survey -- we do not give them information in the survey. because we give the survey
first, we compare the those who protest -- those averages of paid in the survey and those who don't preclu. we engage them in small group deliberation and the small group deliberations direct questions to competing experts to politicians. -- or politicians. then they take this same survey as before, and we have control groups to do not deliberate, so we can show that it is not a history of the world that is changing opinion but it is the deliberations. the result is our representation of what people would think if they were thinking. and about 70% of the time, that turns out to be statistically significantly different than their initial top of the head views, which shows just how malleable public opinion is.
just to show you this gullibility -- i will not talk about the face-to-face projects. this was one of the most dramatic phase to phase projects that we did. -- face-to-face projects that we did. there is a free video that these british filmmakers did. this is the entire european union. -- in one room. that is the parliament building in brussels. that is a microcosm of europe and one room. this was one of the more challenging delivered of poles we conducted, -- poolslls, because it was a sampling of countries speaking in 22 countries -- 22 languages. a mansion in the small groups, how many translators we had to have just to get this -- the discussions. they directed questions to
competing experts, including prime ministers and high-level people. and then there opinions changed about questions affecting europe. this was a great challenge, because in europe, there is no european-wide public sphere at the mass level. they are elite spires. and the elites speak english, or maybe french or chairman. not 21 or 22 languages. the french talk to the french, the bulgarians to the bulgarians, the portuguese to the portuguese. you do not get a european-wide discussion. we saw what it could be like and we put in the parliament building to dramatize that this is the people's house. so, one thing about random sampling is a this scalable. you do not need a larger
sampling for a larger population. the statistical estimates -- precision changes only slightly. the same sample you represent -- ancient athens, which had 50,000 citizens, or the entire -- or the united states. we have done projects with pbs in the united states. or the entire european union which is 5 under million people. -- 500 million people. we return to the face-to-face version of athenian democracy to athens, because there you see the first great deliberative poll, and the man standing up is the leader of one of griseec'es two parties. she is likely to be the next prime minister. -- he is leading in the polls.
he says we need a way to select candidates. he said could the deliberative poll be a way to select candidates? the party leaders select the candidates. in various places, they are bringing in the american-style mass primary, reacting to the progressive, it is a low- information environment. you get low turnouts. could you really get an informed and rep evaluation of candidates? so, those are the candidates for an important position, the mayor of a big part of athens, where they held the olympics -- and the deliberating microcosm made the official decision as to who the candidate would be. that is, after they finished the poll, they voted.
here is what we wanted to show you. i have five minutes to show you. online -- we have done several online projects. here we had 1300 people, 300 the liberators and 1000 people in the control group. they deliberated for one hour per week with a voice rather than text. they came up with key questions responded to by experts. those answers were recorded and given to all the groups. just like the face-to-face poll -- it was only four hours. we had special software that allowed the small groups to be moderated. now we are struggling with an interesting question. we're about to do another one. we have video available. should we allow video or should we make it just audio, the way this is? well, there are interesting
thereeithe. the audio works extremely well. about 70% of the attitude items changed significantly. and all these changes held up with respect to the control group. the issues were things like -- should there be an election-day registration? should felons be allowed to vote, for which there was a shift in favor of allowing felons to vote, who have paid their debt to society. it is important to notice the things that change and that things that don't change. they wanted to get rid of the electoral college before hand and they wanted to after words by about the same margin. but they had heard all the arguments in between. but that is different from a top of the head opinion.
they did not want to make election day a national holiday -- we also had the small group discussions. they said, with early voting, you don't have to take a day off from work in order to vote. there were plenty of other ways of handling that. they did not want compulsory voting as in australia, which was one -- support for term limits went down when they realized this might lower the delivery of quality of representatives. and they wanted people to be free to vote for who they wanted to vote for. they wanted free tv air time for candidates in order to take the need for money out of politics. the one broadcasters to be required to air more public affairs broadcasting. that is a jump of 18 points. there were lots of interesting changes.
there were also knowledge questions, so we could see whether the people became more informed, and they became significantly more informed. one of the things that we found is that is the people who become more informed and change their views. -- who change their views. they loved it. not only was it valuable, but they thought the discussions were balanced, that nobody had tried to impose their views. the opposing arguments were all aired. 76% agreed -- i learned a lot about people different for me about eight -- what they and their lives are like. the same criteria that we used to evaluate the face-to-face delivery of poll, worked on line. we got a microcosm that was representative.
they became more informed. they changed their views incoherent waves. we have a lot of explanatory variables. we can explain how they came to change their views. we had perfect digital recordings of all the discussions and they have been coding the discussions and has found that to distinguish statements were people hold positions for when they offer reasons. it is the offering of reasons that moves the opinion. it is when there are valence reasons -- balanced reasons is when the opinion changes. this shows how different it is from persuasion. we have undertaken all long journey and our republic from madison to madison avenue. from the aspiration for deliberation to the apparatus for persuasion. deliberation is not persuasion,
because it is a matter of balanced way of alternatives. we have that showing -- shown in studies of online polls that this deliberation is possible for a microcosm, and not only that, online is a bargain. it is a bargain that can be implemented and input into the policy process and the political discussion. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. jennifer, i believe he will start the discussion. >> is this on? >> it is. >> wonderful. let me say that i really like your poll. i like the outcomes. i am fascinated by what is going on with in these conversations. i would love to be a fly on the wall. it leaves me with a lot of questions. as a central theme of the
conference is about communication, the roles of communication technology in democracies. i would like this vote -- to focus on the underlying question -- what is the role of communication in democracies and how do technology's impact this? at the heart of the delivered paul is a desire to have more informed citizens. the norman the basis for this is more informed citizens participate in a better way, and a lot of the measurements measure information gained, better reasoning, etc. i would like to see the role of communication is largely figured as information exchange or the information aspect of communication. this is not just a simple, i give you information, you give me some. it is seen as a better way to expand reasoning and thinking. information exchange is important.
as is the question about how communication technologies to better distribute technology. but communication and scholarship and media scholarship tell us that there are other aspects of communication that are really important to pay attention to. issues of recognition, the construction of shared her wry sense of expectation, and simple rituals of establishing community are incredibly important at any moment of communication. this seems to me a lot of what is happening in the delivery of that poll. i wonder whether deliberation is as much about community as it is about information and rational thinking. the importance of the role of community formation is shown in the design of the polls. that began as face-to-face conversations. i find this interesting. this is logistically difficult. why not just a conference call?
why was it so important people be in the same room? then when we move on line, we opt for voice conversations rather than text. why? there's some interesting questions about the future. i see in it -- an implicit set of ideas about communication and its role in democracy that privilege the face-to-face and that is suspicious of mass mediation. i notice you defined it deliberation as "face-to-face discussion by which participants conscientiously to raise and respond to competing arguments so to ride it considered judgments about resolutions to public opinion." deliberation is face-to-face by definition. there are couple of things i want to say. first, it puts a lot of what we do when we engage in politics through media outside the realm of good democracy. any mediated communication is by definition not deliver it. -- not delibertive.
i worry about how that would be so divorce and how we are dated a basis engage in politics. i also view this as an end run or run the media. -- of around the media. the second point goes more to what exactly is the role of communication in your poles and within delivered at democracy. the focus on face-to-face communication as a requirement for deliberations suggests that deliberation is implicitly if not explicitly about much more than information exchange and rational good thinking. the reason we like face-to-face conversation is that it entails a certain ethical stance and type of relationships. we like face-to-face
communication precisely because it seems to promise that we are going to have a relationship to the other and which we respect for the other person, a commitment to them. we are required to listen and take turns. there are rules of daily conversation that apply. that we value face-to-face communication because it is seen -- it entails community norms. we do not always acknowledge these are forms of community. this is part of what i see going on in the design of the poll, adult -- an implicit idea that face-to-face communication will produce better interactions, trust and community. the online poll is particularly interesting. its key design is that the discussions are verbal, that people can hear each other's voices. in the book, you do not talk in detail about this, but i would
suggest that one of the underlying reasons is that the voice is an index of the body and a small imprint of the presence of another person. it makes the person on the other and more concrete. there is a long tradition with india -- media scholarship that things about these incidents of presence in communication. what happens to communications as we introduce technologies that mediate this? in this tradition asks us to think about how communication technologies provide different census of commitment, community to the other people in conversation. this tradition that he leads me to ask questions about how with the poll be different if you did a video conference? or if you only used text. with the outcomes of change? with their minds changed? this is a way of asking about the ways in different media
conveyed different impressions of the presence of others and how these ideas and presence and distance and tail different ethical relations. and it suggests that the use of technology is a way of managing the presence of the other person and managing community. that sense of community is what provides a framework, within which the information is exchanged and understood and it can shape commitments to the very ideas that are put forth in these communities. i would like to conclude with a suggestion and a question. i would like to suggest that if it is -- if what is gained is a good democrat communication or thinking, that this good communication owes as much to the at effective form -- formation of community as it does to rational exchange and ways of thinking. that is, deliberation as defined within the poll are about
relationships as much as they are about the actual words exchanged. we might pay more attention to the ways that media and media technologies are implicated in the formation of these relationships and communities. it also begs questions about how other types of media -- can be part of democratic communications. these provide so much of our regular ways of engaging with the media and provide the background information that any participant in the on-line poll comes to. they do not only have the information, but they come with the information, and there is in sound bites that they receive to other media texts. what is the role? what role did these have and delivered it -- deliberative democracy? do we distrust anything not face
to face because of the type of information they contain? is that more that we do not trust the type of community that they encourage? [applause] >> i always get a rush of hope when i hear jim discuss the results of his experiments around the world. it makes me feel incredibly good that people can be decent to each other, if only for a short period of time, and respectful to each other in a way that seems to generate the sort of governmentality, the republican spirit that we were all brought up believing could happen and should happen. it contrasts starkly with what we see in the world every day, which is what motivates the gym to do what he does.
-- jim to do what he does. i have been trying to figure out how i became so jaded. i am 43 years old. not only am i still waiting for my jet pack. i am still waiting for my democracy, a spirit and a culture of deliberation. looking back, about 20 years, to what was probably the high point in my life. in 1989 -- my friend jay rosen has said on a number of occasions, there are 1945 democrats in 1968 democrats, but i am in 1989 democrat. i am also. on june 4, that we observe every year when the chinese military slaughtered a hundreds of peaceful demonstrators in beijing, that same date the freshly legalized labor unions
solidarity overthrew the communist government of poland in a fair election and it sparked a series of democratic revolutions throughout the world. by october, 1989, the east chairman dictator resigned and hungary became a republic. by november, the party in south africa began dismantling apartheid. in invited full political participation. also in november, the velvet revolution began in what was then czechoslovakia. the communist party announced it would hold free elections by december. brazil also held its first free elections that december after 29 years of military rule. that year ended with rumania and dictator -- and vaclav havel assuming the presidency of czechoslovakia, which would soon divide. this led to the dissolution of the soviet union itself within
two years. in 1989, is 23, i could not have been more optimistic about the future of my world, my countries and the prospect for democracy. i would not say this with any embarrassment at the time. as stories of successful dissidents emerged from these revolutions, it became clear that the new communication technologies we have invited into our lives had played a part. the proliferation of facts machines and eastern europe and the soviet union received almost instant credit for facilitating activism and awareness among dissidents. one business writer, voiced the fall of communism in eastern europe is the direct result of new information technologies. to naive young american such as myself, fascinated by new technology, devoted to the
belief that free. -- free speech can be transformative, the connection was irresistible. such an optimistic story tracked well with other simplistic accounts are held in my mind at the time -- that the reformation and the enlightenment were made necessary by the emergence of the printing press and the 15th century, that mass-market pamphlets were essential contributions to the birth of the american republic. this was all for two ooo simple an explanation. historians of politics in technology know the story is more complex, but i did not know it at the time. i was not wrong to take account of new communicated methods and technologies. but as a 23-year-old, i put too much emphasis on it. i discounted the mark -- remarkable human struggle, the raw courage, the ideological
efforts that have larger effects. -- especially in south africa and brazil. a historian does not consider new information and technology is such as the facts machine to be central to the story. -- of eastern european liveri beration. he poitns tnts to television moe than anything. when viewers in czechoslovakia and germany and see their local uprisings presented on their own televisions and they're all living rooms, they encountered "instant political education of," drumming but with political message. -- drumming home a political message. eastern europeans watched the events into an immense square and they were struck -- in
tianenman square, and they were inspired by peaceful revolts that seem to spring forth all over the world at the same time. will television gave them inspiration. -- global television game of inspiration-- gave them inspiration. it does not mean they build systems of democracy. i am struck by the fact that at 43, i am just one year younger than the voting rights act. that is a pretty stunning thought as well. basically, since the year before i was born, we have had something close to universal suffrage. that is a very short period of time. when i look at my current political culture in my country, i see more indignation then deliberation. we have built a tremendous
beating nation the machines that consist of cable news network's, various sites on the internet, youtube contributes. i hear the echoes of it in my questions. i contribute to it. i had my share of indignation and i am willing to share. just a week ago, we heard and what was supposed to be the finest house of deliberation on this continent arathe rather ru uprising of indignation directed at the president of the united states. we have built indignation machines. we have not built deliberation machines. jim's experiments showed that we can, that it is possible to create structures and norms and rules by which people can deliberate carefully, politely,
and effectively -- which i think is the missing element of this analysis. it is really about shaking hands with the other person. -- more than making a connection. there is nothing specifically in digging about tcpip. in the networks of communications, the connections within the networks of communication, we have not designed our way away from deliberation. we have not made it impossible to build machines for deliberation. instead, we have lurched towards indignation because indignation is cheap and it feels really good. there is a reason cable news at night is all about indignation on all sides of the political spectrum. it is because it is cheap. it does not cost much to be angry. it does not cost much to anger the other side. it does cause a lot -- cost a
lot in terms of time, money, energy to put yourself into deliberation. how do we build these things? how we build machines so that we don't think of our political legacy as being the flashes of ron paul and stephen colbert, and we think we might have started this century off well. we might have started thinking collectively about the problems of the world. how and where do we do this? i see three institutions that can foster deliberation. all three of them have not thought much about foster and deliberation, but they have the potential for it. if they learn their lessons well, if we teach them well, if they learn from the experiments that james fishkin has launched, i think america's universities, america's public libraries and
america's public media -- public radio and public television -- have great potential for fostering deliberation over indignation. but they have to do so overtly. it cannot just be another form of entertainment. it cannot just be another form of trading. it has to be an end in an of itself. we hope the best possible -- [unintelligible] [applause] >> we are ready to bring our patient audience into these deliberations. when i call on you, please wait for the microphone which we will be carrying around. when you get the microphone, please tell us who you are and to whom you are addressing the question. who shall go first? right here. >> thank you.
from the technology university. for james fishkin. two unrelated questions. what happens when you make this process asynchronous? if you offline, if you have a discussion board? the second is have you investigated the effect of this process on ero's theorem? >> the second, we have done extensively. and we have two papers on the website about this. if you look at the center for deliberative democracy website, we have a co-author questioned liszt -- christian liszt. one is forthcoming in the
british journal of science curre. problems -- i assume you're talking about cycles. if you have three options, you know that you can go by pejority decision from a to b to c an dback to a again. this was a violation of transitive the -- people who are interested, is there a public well? is it worth consulting the public? or would you get confusion? if there are cycles, then there is an shawnee to manipulate democracy. -- theorists have shown he can manipulate democracy. if people just discuss the issues together, they might come up with a comment to mention.
like a left-right to mention, for which they can order alternatives. if there is such an underlying dimension, of any substance, cycles are impossible. what we have discovered is that when people discuss -- it turned out we had a number of polls that had ranking questions. with more than two alternatives. normally, our argument is democracy covers this up by having a two-party system and referenda and issues with two alternatives. you cannot have the cycle with two alternatives. you need multiples. we discovered the percentage of the sample share the same underlying to mention -- di mension goes up enough to make cycles of possible after deliberation. -- we a study that empirically. i have a brief discussion about
that in "when the people speak." and we did it in lots of different policy contexts in different countries. we think it is a strong results. as for asynchronous, we had a little bit of asynchronous experimentation embedded in this online paul, but it has been mostly synchronous. it would be interesting to study it asynchronous lead as well. -- asynchronously as well. thank you for both questions. >> yes, sir? you do not have to stand up. you may if you want to. stand up v. >> i am a professor here in the department of science, technology and society. thank you for the talks.
i have a question about the goal of the microcosm poll. i wasn't sure i have a good sense of what we were trying to achieve. i was thinking of another dimension of deliberation -- the value for the character of the individual. it grows or becomes more reflective or stronger based on the process of deliberation. so that goal would be different than the goal of fostering better communal decision making or better decisions in a community-based setting, if the goal is to foster stronger character in the individual. hopefully, you get both at the same time. if i participate in these forums, i grow as an individual and i contribute to a public forum. if the goal is towards building character for the individual as opposed to building strong decisions in the community, does your process have a way to
account for that? do have post-experiment polling to check to wrote years later, if anybody has changed? -- two years later. >> we have gone back sometimes. sometimes eight months or year or so later. we have found that the changes of opinion have considerable persistence. we have also found they have considerable effect on all kinds of civic variables. there is a section in my book about the effects on citizenship. our primary goal is to provide a thoughtful and representative input into the public dialogue and the policy process, but a side benefit are these six facts. -- these civic effects. this is in addition to the list which was a list about sites for deliberation, i would like to
add schools. we actually have a paper on the website where we experimented -- a fully controlled experiment in a school where we randomized civic education as opposed to no civic education and we got a significant results. we are hoping to do a bigger experiment and then try to get -- real education is active not passive. if people were actually waiting the arguments, -- weighing the arguments and we spread that in the schools, we could have a big effect. that is how i would propose to achieve the additional effects you are referring to. >> are you concerned? if the question on the table is about the role of the internet within these questions of technology and democracy, and we know you cannot just have selected elements of the
internet existing and others not, how to avoid the weapons of mass destruction -- destraction ? >> we have shown you can do deliver live democracy on the internet. -- deliberative democracy. our software was a little bit crude, but it was effected. -- effective. we could have all kinds of modules developed that could spread with the internet birkhe. in this book, i looked at the definition of deliberation, the definition i could find in this book, i never meant to privilege face-to-face but i sometimes talk that way. in some earlier writing, i did. i have learned -- it was an empirical question to see how much of what we get face-to-face we can get online. i think you can get quite a lot
of it online. but whether that is the most effective way to spread it in schools or to the broader population as a practical question. -- is a practical question. >> thank you. i am win sanders in the department of politics. -- linda sanders. the question i have was picked up -- in response to your last question -- and that is the important role a face-to-face discussion. i would say go ahead, privilege it. in my opinion, it is not deliberation if it is not face- to-face. i think if it is not pushing on that intuition or that observation, it is critical. in the example, you can see a little bit at least of the priority on face-to-face. along with all the positive things we see on the internet,
or all of the potential, there is also well-known observations about how quickly conversation deteriorates. how blogs were comments have to be cut off. bad behavior -- when where there is some kind of accountability, it doesn't occur. there is some trade-off. i am interested to hear you talk about what is the mechanism of accountability that is connected, and the clearest example is the face-to-face example is when we are all present with their own bodies and are identifiable to each other. that provides a mechanism of accountability that reduces the probability of these very bad forms of behavior. maybe the voice is a close approximation, as a jennifer suggested.
maybe there is something less than voice that still presents people to each other in ways that help make the internet before that has the potential -- the internet of form that has the potential to speak to each other in the same room. that makes us more respectful to each other. >> let me say, lynn sanders who just asked that question, wrote a very interesting article called "against the liberation." -- deliberation." it took years to figure out how to answer the question she was raising. any question from her, i'd pay a great deal of attention to. extremely valuable. when treated as an empirical question, the extent to which
whatever characteristics we identified in the face-to-face discussion can be approximated online or not. i have been a colleague of the leading expert and huge -- virtual reality, and he thinks he can reproduce any experience with one of these helmets. i have worn his helmet. i believe he is right. >> where do you get these helmets? >> so, i don't know what's technology holds for us in the future, so it becomes an empirical question. we are wrestling, as i said, and i think it should be a subject of experimentation to see what happens with voice -- this thing we are struggling with is we are about to go into the field with a poll about obesity policy. we wanted to use the video and somebody said, with obesity, the
anonymity of not knowing who is obese or not helps the discussion. and you had better hold off on that. we are sort of deliberating. we will do that -- in some time, we will have -- i just want to say, there is a form of accountability that we have even online in the way we have designed this and that the groups are meeting synchronous least once a week. in the same groups -- they are not changing. even if they have strange names, they are then identified in the same voices -- he and the same voices. you are participating in the experiment for four or five weeks and you will account to the group. the groups are flirting with each other. they are from different parts of the country. it is a national -- natura natil
deliberative poll. i want to treat this as something that can be explored systematically purged >> i think a lot about the star wars kid. canadian young man who was in eighth grade. he made a videotape of themselves -- himself playing as if he had a light saber. he was using one of those long poles that removes golf balls from a lake. a device i should have. so, he made a tape of himself doing this. it was kind of goofy he made a mistake of leaving it at school. some kids decided to digitize it. for almost a decade now, this young man has suffered harassment and humiliation,
because he is funny-looking. i think just as importantly, he is anonymous. he is not a person. he is a subject of humiliation because he is an image on the screen. we are used to treating images on the screen as subjects of humiliation, as subjects for art or entertainment and our own sense of superiority. you can see this working its way through a number of very popular television shows like "flva of ava of love." i worry about the dehumanizing environments that we have built. and they also echo through blog comments, through trolling, to all of these different places that we hoped would generate rich discussion and deliberation and enhance dignity, which in turn, we have been surprised by the lack of dignity.
this notion of how to engineer at space -- as space that can create a recognition of shared humanity and dignity remains one of our great engineering challenges. we have to think about it as an engineering challenge. those of designs bases and sites and do code actually have to think about, are we actually going to foster a sense of human connection? because of that is the foundational step towards any good thing we might build. i say this with the, the head that i met my wife on the internet. something work -- worked. >> i think the internet and television have a wonderful opportunity for us that takes us outside of our usual face-to- face encounter groups, but also, some aspects of the
internet and television that are really divorced from face-to- face have the strength of bringing us into contact with others we would never be otherwise. our television screens and our -- bring us together and create a sense of connection and a sense of responsibility. committing you to a cause, say, and coming to see images of crises around the world and how we respond to these? there are a bunch of scrawler's -- scholars that are looking at these types that do not give us interactivity, but just appear before us. just specific techniques of consideration, from photographs, giving context that incur just to feel the distance force to
feel we are spectating or to feel involved or feel community. this is completely on a separate point, when you started to talk about do we want to use video? do we want people to see who is obese or not obese? lurking in here is the issue of power. it is something we have to -- much more we talk about the audio-visual technologies. it is working always in the other ones. it is easier not to notice that. >> how is it an issue of power? >> issues of powers in terms of, i am obis. do i have a right to speak? who has the right to speak? who is considered to be normal or abnormal? there is a moral discourse that goes with obesity, too. things like that.
i think that is what you are talking about when you say we do not want people to necessarily know who is guilty or who is obese in these conversations occurred >> we want people to feel free to say what they want to say in the deliberation about the policy issue, and we were worried, my colleagues and i were worried that those who were obese might not feel free to discuss it. they might feel embarrassed. i don't know what the answer is. it is a novel question. we found in one of the other on- line delivery of the polls, that there was a black moderator of the discussion and the other participants in a small group did not know she was black. and were saying things about blacks in the discussion. she was trying to figure out how to handle that. there was a partial filtering that the technology provided
that would not have been characteristic of face-to-face. there are many novel questions -- one answer is to experiment with this. and another is to think there is this trade-off about getting people to feel free to not sense of themselves and to speak freely in an atmosphere of equality and mutual respect, without disadvantaging anyone. but then being realistic enough so that people can bonded together and not so that they are going to participate in the dialogue. i am not sure what the answer is. i don't know what the answer is. we will let you know when we do this project. >> i am curious. >> we will see. >> i wanted to make a little trouble, but i will do it quickly. the little trouble was going to
be, i thought that there was a little bite say about face-to- face communication. -- naivete. the recent incident when the president was face-to-face. were you ended up here is kind of interesting in terms of power and authority, because i was intrigued by jennifer's comments about the different forms -- face to face up versus various kinds. and i was actually -- i am not a political scientist. i was surprised by both comments about the liberation not being possible, except in face-to- face. i was like, whoa. what is the definition of deliberation? i don't know. i would like to hear more of
thabout that. this discussion about power was important because it goes back to these different forms, styles of communication which are not without power-shaping. face-to-face has certain features. television has other features. and now i will be the troublemaker -- your forms are shaped in certain ways -- foru ms are shaped in certain ways. it allows certain things to be heard and other things not to be heard. which i think you would defend. the obesity example is perfect because you are explicitly using your power to shape the kind of dialogue that is going on. i am not critiquing that.
you cannot deny the power there which i think is different than in a face-to-face format where somebody can say, you are a liar. >> the want to respond first? >> -- do you want to respond first? >> i agree. i am not trying to privilege of face-to-face at all. i tried to pick up the way that is often built into our discussions about democracy as an ideal. [inaudible] >> there is some of the considerations -- >> the reason why we privilege face-to-face is the idea that there is an ethical demands of the presence of the other person. i don't think that only happens in face-to-face, but that is the essential argument for why face- to-face conversation is important for some things that
approximate face-to-face conversation. they focus on it because of the sense that because the other person is right there, you have a responsibility, you are forced to engage and give reasons for your arguments. we do not talk about it as an ethical and in an effective rationale at the heart of our deliberative theories. as a media scholar, i do not think that is the only way to have that or encourage that. >> the root of deliberation is a waiting period weighing competing arguments -- weighing competing arguments. there is one scholar that writes about the liberation within. he thinks people can way at all by themselves without interaction. we tend to think of it as a
winning together -- weighing together with a representative sample weighing the arguments and having good conditions under which people weigh the arguments on the merits. there is a balanced discussion, of good information. various conditions. we have managed to achieve that in the face to face demonstrably so, and now we are trying to see if we can replicate it online. we are having considerable success online, in a certain kind of environment, but then it becomes an empirical question. what are the elements that insure success and what are the variations and conditions and the forms of mediation that might permit this kind of way of argument? when i say arguments, i do not just mean it rational arguments during ordinary people when they make an argument about a policy issue, they tell a story or share their experience. if you talk about health care or
education or crime, you may tell a story but the story has a point. and the point may be part of the argument. that is part of how people interact. some of it is a question -- we are trying to study the role of empathy and the role of a motion in this. it is -- the role of a motion in this. -- emotion in this. we are calling transcripts of the discussions and creating new variables. . .
>> many times, the results of a poll are not something i personally agree with. but i always see that they make sense. i am always surprised. i would dispute the critics of deliberative democracy who say the public is incompetent. the public is potentially very competent, you just have to create the right institutional design. >> sorry about that. >> that is ok. >> i am a lecturer in media studies. i want to ask a question about the role of experts and expertise in the deliberative model. delivered of opinion is media tor filter it through various experts.
expertise by definition is often fought full. we might say it is not very egalitarian. it often reflects and amplifies perspectives of privileged and the wealthy, it invested with status and authority. is there a risk that less privileged but meaningful opinions may be left out or disadvantage? is there a useful way and including joe public as a participant in the debate, but in another role, perhaps? >> you get experts in the sample in their proportion to the population. that is a good sample. when people deliberate, they come up with questions that were never envisioned by the adviser group. sometimes those questions need answering. we always have them answered from competing points of view so that no one gives a speech --
the experts are only allowed to answer the questions. there are rival experts. the rival experts then give to the public. that is in power into the public. they realize they can make their own decision. they draw on the experts. we have studied what is producing the opinion change with various experimental manipulations. we have a split half example where people deliberate on one issue and then on another. we can get the opinions of one half before they have seen the experts and the other after. it is the small group discussions that produced the bulk of the change, regardless of the experts. the experts to provide crucial information. i think this enriched by having
the experts there, but not in a way that people defer to the experts. that is why it is very important that the experts were present different points of view. >> we have time for one more question. >> i am a political science graduate student. from public opinion research, we know that in these and resentments play a particular role in opinions. i watched the pbs show of your first political. there were emotionally charged discussions around poverty and social welfare policy. it seems like the transition to the internet will affect some policy discussions more than others. poverty policy seems like there
was a substantive change in opinion. you could see that in the discussions. empathy was being aroused. someone was passionately talking about having been on food stamps before. it seemed to have a different kind of an effect. he said you are starting to look into the in the online polls. i was wondering what you are seeing in the discussions on line. are there some policy areas where having people to be present would make more of a difference than others? >> that is a fantastic question. we did do it delivered a poll of the same time on the same subject. that is the paper they can find on the website. he is under submission like many other papers. -- it is under submission and many other papers. the trouble is that the topic
was foreign policy. we expect the paper will be published soon. it does not have the emotional charge of what you are talking about. you are suggesting a very good research program. in the discussion you are referring to, it was an african- american woman -- one of the topics was the family. there was a woman who was a single parent on welfare. she was an african-american woman who was in the same small group as an 80-year old white conservative who said at the beginning of the discussion, "you do not have a family." this test of the skills of the moderator.
-- this tested the skills of the moderator. the moderator to of the discussion going. at the end of the discussion, this 80-year-old white conservative came up to her and said, "water the most important words in english language? i was wrong." i have always interpreted that incident to signify that he began understanding the world from her point of view. under normal conditions, he would probably never have spoken to her, much less had such an intensive conversation. that is part of what this process does. it puts people and in a safe, public space where people can talk about issues and understand each other. we are trying to figure out how to model and understand that. it clearly happens face-to-face.
will it happen on line? that is one of the big questions for this research. for some kinds of topics, it may not matter as much. but that is a brilliant question in terms of whether four other topics it may matter a lot. i do not know. >> time is our great enemy. i apologize we did not get to all the questions. we will have an opportunity to relax these issue in mourners -- we will have to discuss these issues in a more relaxed setting. please help me thank our panel. [applause] i have two announcements. first, before you leave, let jim leave so that he has an opportunity to get to the book signing outside if we let you all attack him before he gets there, there will be no book signing.
we're going to throw you out of here now. march out of here. you can ask a question out there, but you have got to buy a book. [laughter] the other announcement is for those of you at the humanities and technology meeting, your next engagement is in the scripps library. that is where we will have the aforementioned relaxed discussion on the issues. thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> the senate begins debate on the health care bill tomorrow. here is a look at how that debate is viewed in the state of maine. following legislators who are playing an importer role.
one is senator olympia snowe of maine. and another is a reporter, susan young. guest: we looked at her as your typical politician from the state of maine, very pragmatic, trying to balance concerns about the cost of the health care expansion and overhaul compared to the desperate need to get it done. host: how would you compare how you view it to the average person in the state of maine following this? and those who support senator olympia snowe? guest: those who support term while they are vocal are a small group. i assume when we talk about supporting the senator we're talking about her voting against bringing the bill forward for debate? the majority of mainers did not
agree with that. host: has she made any public appearances during her time over the break? guest: yes, but not town hall- style meetings. she is well known for what she calls her walks through communities and the meeting one- on-one with constituents. i'm sure that she is hearing a conflicted message. host: any sense of what she is hearing? guest: there are those who are strongly in favor of an overhaul with the public option. there are those who still pusher to support the public option, but has also heard from those who are very concerned about the cost. host: has there been any polling in the state as far as how the citizens generally look at this debate and what they want the public option? guest: polls have shown about
60% support the public option. it is all in how you ask the question. if you ask the they want a government-run health care, the number would be lower, but if you ask them if they thought the insurance company should be given more time to fix the problems, people disagree with that also. host: as far as the media campaign, which is spoke to an editor from editor from lincoln's reelection. we have seen. ads out there. have you seen them in your state as well? guest: yes, from those supporting the public option to those like the u.s. chamber of commerce who are strongly opposed. host: talk a little about those republicans in the state of maine. how have that they've responded? guest: the republican party, like other places, is somewhat
split. there are those on the conservative and who are encouraging the senator to hold the line and not even consider voting for a reform measure. then there are those who are more moderate to liberal in the party who support her efforts at the working towards compromise and finding a lower cost way to do it, probably without the public option. host: does she do it from a position of strength as far as electability? guest: she was reelected in 2006 with over 70%. her challenger was not strong. and despite some efforts nationally to warn her that her moderate stance is not appreciate, it seems to be in the state of maine. she is highly favored with her ratings here. host: she joins us from usthe bangork at this debate and what they want the public option? guest: polls have shown about
>> the motion is agreed to. >> with that vote, the senate moves the health care boat to the four -- moves the health care vote to the floor. you can follow that debate and how it will affect other issues live on our companion network, the only network that brings you the senate gavel-to-gavel. >> this week, prime minister gordon brown discusses how the government is responding to recent floods in the u.k. he also talked about an islamic extremist group and the secrecy of the rociraq inquiry.
that is coming up tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern time. >> chris hughes is one of the founders of facebook. he talked about the uses of social networking. while a student at harvard, he and two friends invented facebook. after graduation, he helped barack obama's campaign with social networking. this is about one hour. >> is a pleasure to be back in denver.
it is also a pleasure -- privilege to be able to speak to this audience. i have a little bit of time today. i want to explain what is happening on the internet. it is more and more important for everyone who is out there. i want to start with the most basic concept that is at the heart of all of the transformation taking place. information. what exactly is information? we have got to understand what it is before we can start talking about a social media revolution, technological revolution, any type of revolution. information is at the core of the changes taking place. i would define information as the recorded form of communication. s soon as u.n. idea is created and recorded -- as soon as an
idea is created and recorded, as soon as an emotion occurs and is recorded, it becomes a piece of information. it is just the record form of communication. this matters because i genuinely believe we are experiencing a global revolution in the way information is distributed and created. i am going to take you through journey of my own personal story. it is also a larger story of what is happening on the internet. every few years, or every hundreds of years, there is a huge disruption in the field of information. more recently, we have the image of the printing press 500 years ago. we have the invention of the radio, the invention of television. throughout all of these inventions, we have seen a common trend. information, over time, has been
distributed more and more quickly and efficiently. take the printing press. the book can be reproduced hundreds or thousands of times. it can be distributed across continents and across the globe. the same thing goes with radio or television. a few people are deciding the programming, paying for the development, deciding how it works. but there is a revolution there in that the information is being distributed much more broadly and quickly. the current revolution we are experiencing is one that i would call a revolution of the network screen. i think this is important because we are seeing an information revolution in how quickly information is being distributed. but also, it is a radical change
in how information is created. before with each revolution, it was still just a few people creating information that was distributed more broadly. now, each and everyone of us has become an information creator. how many of you have profiles on facebook? that is literally everyone. for the few of you who do not, i bet you use e-mail. wherever it is on the web, the point is that we are all creating information that is being recorded and moving. 30 years ago, that was not the case. we were still communicating, but we were not creating information. i want to talk about what this revolution means for us as individuals, for our society,
for our businesses. how can people and organizations take advantage of it? what trends are going to continue and become more important over the coming years? we can all take advantage of the changes taking place. what better place to start than a facebook profile? this is my facebook profile. so much effort goes into crafting these things. for me, it is fun but it is also a lot of things i have been interested in. it may be news articles or status updates. to boil down what facebook is, it is a network that enables people to share, stay in touch with people they care about, and connect to the things they care about. the thing that makes facebook different from all the other
networks out there -- the most important one is that when you come on facebook, you do not come to invent a new identity. you come to be yourself. you create a profile. you connect with the people you already know. it may be family, friends, co- workers. when you have done that, you share information with the people that you care about. in a lot of ways, facebook was not predestined to be any more successful than other sites out there. we were 19 years old in a college dormitory thinking about what would make it easier for college students to communicate with their friends. we were starting from a point where there were lots of other things in the space. our challenge was what did not work about them and what would make them more useful. not necessarily more fun or cool or trendy, but what would make
them more useful. there are three pillars that facebook has been built on that has made it a successful as it has been. it differentiates it from other products out there. first, trust and privacy. when you come on facebook and share information, it does not go out to the world. the users have complete control over who sees what. as facebook grew from just a few thousand users to over 300 million users, we saw that people are more comfortable sharing when they know who will see it. people do not necessarily want to share everything with the world. often, they just want to share things with their friends. that is incredibly important. secondly, there is a focus on making facebook useful. it is a place to go every day not just because it is fun and interesting, but it is useful to find out what your friends are up to at any given point in
time you will know your co- workers are talking about. he will know what news your family is reading. the focus on utility has been consistent. thirdly, there is always been an acknowledgment at facebook that as a company, it can only do so much. at the end of the day, it truly needs to be a platform if it will grow. by platform, i mean a place where individuals connect to people they care about. from there, they go and connect with the things and organizations to care about as well. i think we may have temporarily lost the presentation. i will keep going. where is facebook now? over 300 million active users. 70% are outside the united states. it is now translated into 70 different languages. not a single person at facebook
has ever sat down to try to translate the entire site into any one of the languages. facebook threw it out there to the community. the people who speak spanish are the ones translating it. the people who speak arabic should be the ones translated into arabic. as a result, there are 70 languages on the site. it puts faith and trust in the people that use the site and collaborate to make it more useful. half of the user's return every day. the average user has 130 friends. civithat is incredibly importan. it illustrates that you do not go on facebook to get as many friends as you can. you go there to connect to people you know. people access facebook from mobile devices over the world. almost everyone in the rooms on facebook. we recognize it as a good way to stay in touch with friends.
i want to point out some things that facebook has made possible that previously were not possible. facebook has suffereushered in w era for political organizing. this is a photograph from downtown bogota, colombia where thousands of people mobilized against the terrorist organization. a retired kidnappings and being held hostage. people read it they were tired of kidnappings and been held hostage. -- people were tired of the kidnappings and held hostage. people created a site for this. this previously was not possible. similarly, i cannot tell you how often i hear about people who connected with long-lost loved
ones, old friends from elementary school, or middle school, exes from 20 years before. [laughter] whatever it is, people are connecting with people who have been important to them. they are free 19. that is incredibly important. it was much more difficult for. -- they are reuniting. that is incredibly important. we see this all across the globe. people use facebook to communicate with one another. there was an example in north dakota last year with the floods. people immediately created groups to mobilize. whenever there was an emergency, we saw people come on and update their status messages. they would say that the sandbags
were about to break and they needed help within the next hour. because of facebook, an average of 130 friends can see that. if they are in the neighborhood, they can be there in half an hour. they can help prevent the flight from taking homes -- the help to prevent a flood from taking homes and memories away from people. this is a whole new era of what is possible with collaboration. people have always been organizing political protests and helping one another in times of natural disasters. these things have always happened. it is important to understand why facebook makes it different. i think it is useful to take a step back and think about this more theoretically to understand how the network works. there are important implications to understand how you can take advantage of it for your particular interest. the revolution on facebook is that every time someone does
something, they do not do it in the ether. it the as not just happen. it is recorded. -- it does not just happen. it is recorded. each update like a status change has a digital in print. this is recorded immediately once the action is taken. from there, logs are created of all of the people who are taking actions at any given point in time. each and every action is distributed, not to the internet at large, but people who care about me, the people i know. that is the revolution. when you log in, you can see what the people you care about are doing all across the world at any given point. that was previously not possible. how is the transformation affecting our society? i studied the history of literature in college.
that had nothing to do with technology. but it turned out ok. i am transfixed with questions about how technology integrates into our lives. how does this change who we are as individuals and how we interact with other people? i could literally talk for hours about this particular question. i think it is changing our lives in an area of ways. some that we realize and some that we do not. -- i think it is changing our lives in a myriad of ways. it is making our world more transparent. not only is there more information available online, that was the first revolution on the internet. but you can now access that information and try to understand whether it is accurate, whether it is relevant, and whether it is something that you care about. as we see more information coming on line, not only is it
easier to get access to this huge amount of information, you can actually use your filters to help you understand what information is right and not as trustworthy. the more information we have, the more equipped we are to make good decisions. this expands our capacities as individuals. we evaluate certain options and the information we have. then we make a decision. as you approach perfect information, as you have more information that you are able to judge better and better, it increases your ability to make good choices. it is not a magic potion. it does not mean that everyone in the world will start being responsible and perfect. but it does improve our capacity to be responsible and smart.
i genuinely believe that the more information that is available on the web, and the warrant that is used, the more our human capacity to create is extended. we have immediate access to hundreds of thousands of music files, ideas, whatever. you can insert anything into that point. that expands our capacity to create whatever we are interested in. we can create better videos, better content for the world. that is helpful. up until now, it has been sort of general. i have tried to explain what is happening on the internet and why facebook is important. i want to spend a good bit of time talking about a practical example. a lot of times, i think people can understand how systems work well and still not know what to
do with it and how it can help them. let's talk about one practical example. the answer to the question will be different matter what business you are in or what you do for a living. i can talk about one thing that has a lot of lessons for all of us. in february of 2007, i left facebook to go and work for barack obama's political campaign. you may remember that this was probably not the time to go and work for this guy running to be the first african-american president with a funny name and no one knew he was. that is the question i got when i told my peers at facebook that this is what i wanted to do.
there were a lot of questions. it was what i wanted to do for a lot of different reasons. there were two main ones. number one, a genuinely believed and continue to believe that barack obama was unparalleled as a candidate and as a person. his honesty, integrity, ability to truly empathize with everyday people was very hard to find anywhere in american politics. not only was it just a candidate. you also. that with a campaign that from day one was focused on using everyday people and their energy and enthusiasm to strengthen and be the engine behind the campaign. i had never worked deeply in politics before. i knew enough about politics to know this is the way it usually works. usually, the mechanic that raises the money and puts an ad on tv.
you hope you win. -- usually, you have a candid that raises money and puts an ad on tv. you hope you win. this time, we knew the only way to win was to harness the enthusiasm and use it to mobilize for the election. i show up 22 or 23 from facebook. i have no political experience. we had a couple of people on the team who had a lot more political experience than i did. from the very first day i got there and from the first day that we started looking at what we were going to do, we ask ourselves how we were going to use technology to win this. not how we would use technology to generate buzz or get a lot of traffic to the website or do any of these things.
it was how we would use technology to win more votes. there was a key, resolute focus on winning votes i believe that is the real reason for our success. we ask ourselves how people ever get the votes. the campaign. you raise a lot of money. you knock on a lot of doors. you make a lot of phone calls. you equate the people who support your campaigned with a message that not only resonates with them but will resonate with other people. -- you yclept the people who support your campaign -- you equip the people who supported campaign with a message that not only resonates with them but will resonate with other people. they could then connect with real people face to face in
their communities. they could use that to collaborate and take action. we focused on equipping people to share, connect, and act. how did that work piece by piece question of the first focus was on giving people a voice. this is an example of a dashboard page on my.barackobama.com the point of the site was not to be like a facebook for the obama campaign. that is a common misconception. we were not trying to be facebook. facebook is helping people share information and connect with friends. we were trying to win an election. on the obama campaign, we were trying to win votes. everything we did on the network was focused on helping people get active. bear the most important way to start doing this was to give people a voice. -- the most importantly to start doing this was to give people a voice.
everybody had a space on the website. everybody had the possibility of blogging and being a part of the discussion. we created a culture of creation of the campaign. whenever we sent out e-mails or put things on the web site, we would put up stories of every people who were getting active on behalf of the campaign. we gave them the opportunity to explain that and why they're doing it. just as we wanted to help people understand the barack obama was, we wanted to help people find their own voice and be able to speak to the people they care about. second, we listened. when not only gave people a voice, but we tried to listen to what they're saying and thinking at any given point time. technology allowed us to do this at scale. not only did we have to call people up one by one, but we could see when people were commenting on a given issue.
we could see when people were donating for a specific reason. because of that, we could invest people with the power to have their voice and make a change. this is a good example of listening. it was before the convention in denver last year. we have lots of supporters. we knew they have lots of opinions. people were always on the website talking about what they believed. how could we do a better job of listening to them and having them play a role in the campaign? around convention time, we understood there was the party platform. every four years, the parties come together and get into the spectrum. nobody really knows how it works. they write a platform. the problem is that the platform defines the values of the party.
it defines in general the narrative of what the party will be working on in the future. we wanted to do this differently. the open of the doors. we use our technology to say that anybody out there could be part of the process of writing the democratic party's platform. people came together using our software in living rooms, and meeting halls across the country. facebook to one another. the talk about what they care about. they came on line -- they talked to one another. they talk about what they cared about. they came on line and told us about that. we included a good bit of that. if you look at the democratic party platform from 2008, you will not just see statements from people on high. you will see them from every people all across america participating and being listened to. this is important to us. we also tried hard to connect and empower. this is probably what is seen
the most is still very important. we have 35,000 groups across the country. we had over 200,000 events. these are not just online activities. it was not 200,000 people chatting in some space. it was 13 million people going to 200,000 events face-to-face. this was not as much of a technological revolution as it was a revolution in the way campaigns are administered. it was made possible by the technology existed and was available. finally, we made action easy. one example is that we got a lot of attention for having raised a lot of money over the course of the campaign. there are several different ways people make money. one example is that people would set a goal for much money it wanted to raise for the campaign. they would have people over to their house. that would collect $10 donations.
the thermometer would inch up. people will accomplish goals. that would help to run the campaign as a result. -- people would accomplish the goals. that would help to run the campaign as a result. all you have to do was tied in a few pieces of the intermission and hit donate -- all you have to do was type and a few pieces of information and to donate. we were able to raise over $500 million on line over the course of two years. millions more came in off line as well. the focus was on making action as easy as possible. all this is great, but the big question now is, what is the future? where is all of this going? how is it relevant to me, my business, what can i do with the fact that 300 million people are
on facebook? what can i do with the fact that people are sharing information all the time, all day? i do not have a crystal ball, but i do think there are some trends that will continue to be more and more important over the next few months and years. i will go through three. first, we will continue to see the expansion of the amount of information shared and how it is shared. if you think you are sharing a lot on facebook and the internet now, a guarantee that five years from now, it will be even more. this is really important. it is not just the information the you are going to the movies that is being shared. i would argue that it is important if you are going to meet your friend of the movies. it is also information that has real impact on how we are able to live our lives. this is part of the trend.
the photograph of the plane on the hudson in january. this was the first photograph before any mainstream media organization had been there. it was taken by a user on torture. -- it was taken by user on twitter and circulated around the internet. more information can open up more opportunities for people to know what people are talking about and encouraged them to be talking about the things you are interested in talking to them about. for people who work in communications, this shift moves from trying to collect information. if you were a journalist 10 years ago, you needed to have lots of interviews. half of your time was collecting information that you then used to produce a story. that has been condensed. you will still try to collect certain information.
the information is out there. the challenge now is to synthesize, filter, and bring it together into some type of coherent narrative. a second trend that i think is just beginning and will continue is that we will see trust and credibility become more important over time. if you are like most people out there, people feel overwhelmed. there is so much information. it is on twister, facebook, cnn -- is on twitter, facebook, cnn. there is just so much information. people say they have so much information and do not need more. we're spending more of our time consuming more information. at some point, there is a limit. the natural move is to shift back towards trusting friends, institutions, media to filter
the information and synthesize it so that you know what is important, interesting, true, and relevant. i do not necessarily mean that "the new york times" or cnn have anything to worry about. -- do not have anything to worry about. they do have a real challenge in front of them. i think there will be an even more important role for institutions in helping to determine what information is important and interesting to people. it is just that institutions can crop up like this now. there is a new one that specializes in helping women communicate with one another to find information they're interested in. they already have 600,000 unique visitors to the site. they have become an institution people go there and trust them. these institutions are being treated more and more.
they will become increasingly important in the long run. we need ways to understand the information out there. thirdly, we will continue to seek more experimentation in the world of cooperation. -- we will continue to see more and experimentation in the world of cooperation. it is easier to work together to produce something interesting. it is not just in politics. all types of collaboration are being opened up in terms of how people actually rigwrite and consume the news. there was a project during the campaign called "off the bus." 1700 people from across the country came in and wrote news articles. it worked with editors to understand what was most important to write on.
they worked together to make sure the final product was something that people could rees and used -- to read and use. the huffington post was able to disperse disinformation all across the country. people could go to campaign events. people were able to write the news even though there were all across the globe. it did not necessarily mean that it would be on the front page of huffingtonpost.com without someone editing it. that is good. that is why people trusted. there will be more information being used more often. there is an increasing demand for trust. there is more opportunity to collaborate. i think the main thing as a close to keep in mind is that it
is up to us to iterate. we need to innovate and have good ideas. we always need to be trying something new and better. setting up a facebook page 4 of business is not enough. it is a great for star. you have to do it. -- setting of a facebook page 4 of business is not enough. it is a great start. if you have an attitude or opinion of trying new things to see how they work, you will find the things that work for you and provide you value at the end of the day. the most important thing i can leave you with is that it is ok to learn what you do not know. i do this for a living. there is so much i do not know and learn every single day. what is not ok is to pretend like it is something that just kids do or will not be more important. we're only beginning to enter this era. it is up to everyone of us to take it seriously, embracing,
and work with this on a day-to- day basis to understand what kind of value can add to all of our businesses and our lives. thank you. [applause] i think we have some time for questions. there are a couple of microphones up here at the front. i am happy to take any type of question. very few things are off the record. ask me anything you are wondering about. >> i want to say thank you for facebook. i was one of the first users in a college dormitory. it is great work all-around on that. you talked about trust and credibility on line. people think is great but wonder how to do that on line. can you give us some examples of
what people can do to raise trust and credibility through facebook or other media? particularly, business. i know everyone wants to use it in the business process. >> i am very serious about the trust and credibility point. there is an inclination to believe that because there's more information, the old institutions are dying away. they might if they do not understand that they are in the business of providing a service to people who have always use them. people read the newspaper because they find the information interesting. defined a close to being objective or relevant. -- they find it close to being objective or relevant. they do not have to go out there and talk to everybody in their town on a given day. all they have to do is read the newspaper. when it comes to creating the trust or credibility, whomever you are, i think you value
honesty. i think you value transparency o. i think you make yourself more human. the more he can embrace a culture of -- the more you can embrace a culture of sharing, the more you can say you need to be personal. as you do that, if you develop a relationship of trust. this big idea or person, now i know the person behind it. now i know that they are inclined to share and be honest with me. that is what trust is built on, the personal field and ability to empathize -- that is what trust is built on, the personal feeling and ability to empathize. it will be different depending
on what business you are in or what your doing. i think transparency, honesty, and in personal are the three things that make it stronger. -- and being personal are the three things that make it stronger. >> i think facebook is wonderful. unfortunately, i have been picked up by a few people there that have not been trying -- [laughter] i am sure that has happened to a few others as well. as far as your work with barack obama on his campaign, help with all of this come out if you had gone to the other side? this machine is incredibly complex, strong, and robust. data does it work for evil as well as good? -- does it work for evil as well as good? [laughter] [applause] >> that is a really good question.
in the context of this particular campaign last year, it would not have worked for john mccain. it would not have. the reason this particular technology would not have worked for him is because his campaign was not premised on giving people a voice. the technology works when it is premised on empower people to speeak and act. they are able to connect with one another. the barrier to coordinate action becomes much lower. think about coordinating an event where people go and knock on doors. you used to have to find out about the debt through a phone call or advertisement. now you get it directly online. you find out how many people are going. it makes the whole thing easier. when it comes to whether the mccain campaign could have used the same technology to their advantage, they tried.
but their campaign was not premised on the same values. as a result, it did not go anywhere. that said, i could imagine a palin campaign being able to use a similar set of tools. her persona and attitude towards the people out there is much more about listening to them and hearing him speak. sarah palin is one of the most active politicians on facebook. she has decided she does not want to talk to the media as much as she used to. she uses the facebook to do that. there are advantages and disadvantages to doing that. i do not agree with her political views. but i will give her that she is listening to the people who are replying to her. she is speaking to them directly. she could build a campaign that would be able to use technology in a similar way. the technology itself is not
partisan. any campaign on one side or the other can use it. it really only works when it is about empowering people to speak and self-organized. that is not necessarily a democratic or left cause. >> i am from time warner cable. i wanted you to speak about self-selection treated there's an opportunity to find people like yourself. -- i wanted you to speak about self-selection. there is an opportunity to find people like yourself. how can we have more conversations like he would have over the table? how can you find more people with your same views? >> that is a real concern in social media and the internet in general. there have been a couple of studies where they moapped the
blogs. you will see that there is a big blob on the left that is blue. there is a big one on the right that is red. they are not really connecting. we have an inclination to read and talk to people we agree with. it makes us feel better. i think it does play itself out on the web. that is why i think the role of institutions is not only going to continue to be important in the future. i think they have a particular responsibility to exist in the middle space between red and blue and try to be as objective as possible.
it is not just about having a "new york times" article that is not partisan. on the web, you see people that have very different political views were commenting on the discussing, and contributing to the discussion. i do not have any great ideas about how to structurally encouraged those institutions to continue to exist. but i do think they are important. i am not convinced that they will systematically fade. i have not seen that to beat the trend. we will see. -- i have not seen that to be a trend. we will see. >> i am from cnn. you are sitting in front of an audience of mostly content distributors. most of us are tied to making money on our content.
i would love to get your thoughts on how we remain relevant in a platform that effectively breaks down those barriers and spreads our content all over the internet. i would love to get your perspective. does my.barackobama.com suggest we should be building communities around our content or should we be participating and be relevant on your platforms? >> very good questions. on the first, i do not have a good, some sink answer. i think the right answer is to experiment. -- i do not have a good synched answer. there's more content out there that is free and available. people are finding their way to it. that is part of what the technology offers. i do think there is opportunity to offer better content. it may be better quality or more
information. there will be some people who pay for that. how that works overtime, i do not really know. i do not think everything needs to be free. in general, there is a trend towards content becoming increasingly accessible and more free. but i did not think structurally in needs to be. there will always be people who pay for certain content at certain times. that is different for a lot of different businesses. there's no doubt there is a challenge to that. the only thing i would know to do in your shoes is to try every single thing that came to my mind. watched the traffic statistics. what's the numbers. charge, do not charge. set up different sites. but a lot of investment behind experimentation. -- watched the numbers. you have to try 20 to get to be one. that is the only way i