The veteran business journalist and author Rana Foroohar, currently a columnist for the Financial Times and an analyst for CNN, gave keynote remarks on on “Digital Polarization in the Post-Neoliberal Bi- (or Tri-) Polar World.”
Scholars presented research papers on women’s speech online, the gendering of political speech, and the digital divide during the COVID-19 pandemic, among other topics.
The opening panel discussion considered women and online harassment, also known as digital violence—the subject of a recent UNESCO report. Subsequent discussions tackled the regulation of big tech; combatting race and gender bias in algorithms; and disinformation in Russa’s war on Ukraine.
Hosts and participants included Karen Attiah MIA ’12, Washington Post columnist; Emily Bell, director of Columbia’sTow Center for Digital Journalism; Ulf Buermeye, cofounder and chairman of Germany’s Society of Civil Rights (GFF); Patricia Campos Mello, editor at large, Folha (Brazil); Timothy Frye; Columbia political scientist; Nina Jankowicz, disinformation expert; Mutale Nkonde, CEO of the nonprofit organization AI for the People; the computer scientist Neal Parikh, and many others.Anya Schiffrin, director of SIPA’s Technology, Media, and Communications specialization, and Karolina Koc-Michalska, a sociologist at Audencia Business School in Paris. Despite the delay many of the conference papers were printed in a a special issue of the journal Information, Communication & Society.
The conference was co-sponsored by Columbia’s European Institute and SIPA’s Management specialization and partially funded with grants from Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism & Ideas and the Women’s Media Center. Meyer Feldberg, a former dean of Columbia Business School, and his wife, Barbara, sponsored the participation of academics from Africa.
Thanks to Anya Schiffrin and Meghan Slushevsky for their contributions to this summary.