At the 2019 Conference, author, online organizer, SXSW Interactive Hall of Fame honoree, and co-founder of Upworthy Eli Pariser returned to SXSW to discuss a new framework for creating a better online world. Throughout his career, Pariser has focused on figuring out how technology can elevate important topics in the world. Now, Pariser is trying to define what a healthy society might look like and what goals we need to establish to solve global issues.
"People's behavior is significantly constructed by their environment. Small tweaks to that environment can radically change what we think of as their inherent morale character or truth."
Pariser defines some of the harms digital platforms are causing as misinformation and disinformation, harassment and bullying, incitement against ethnic groups and election interference. While its important to identify and solve these issues to create a better digital environment, there isn't a conversation happening around what we want the world to look like after solving these problems. According to Pariser, we haven't figured out how to state our positive goals in a metrical way.
"Our literature is replete with stories about misguided wishes... That's the blessing and the curse of the moment that we're in right now. We have these institutions and we have these incredibly potent powers as a civilization... We have to know what we want. When it comes to creating the bedrock for a better society we can do better in being able to articulate what our values and principles are."
Still in its early stages, Pariser, through social science research and in-depth conversations with leading technologists, has begun to create a list of guiding principles for building a better digital future.
Watch the full session to learn more about Pariser's principles and ideas for the future of the internet. See more SXSW 2019 videos from Conference, Featured Speakers, and Keynotes on our YouTube channel.
Take a look back on SXSW 2019 and browse our Photo Galleries from sessions, screenings, showcases, and more event highlights.
Featured Session: What Does Healthy Technology Look Like? - Photo by Sofie Milton