Vasant Dhar

Social Media and Social Pathology: Why and How to Hold Platforms Responsible for Harm

1 March 2022

I am joined in this episode by Professor Vasant Dhar where we talk about why social media platforms should be regulated and how we would go about doing so. Vasant argues that we have failed to install any rules of the game when it comes to holding platforms responsible for their demonstratable contribution to social ills. This, according to Vasant, leads to some truly egregious gaps in our ability to avoid negative outcomes and hold those responsible liable for their actions. For example, in our current settings, a social platform could be shown to be responsible for tens of thousands cases of depression, leading to hundreds of suicides but still to have not violated any rule or law and be completely free of liability. Vasant brings more than 30 years of study and research in this area to the table.

Vasant is a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business and the Center for Data Science. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of the journal Big Data and the founder of SCT Capital, one of the first machine-learning-based hedge funds in New York City in the 90s. His research focuses on building scalable decision making systems from large sources of data using techniques and principles from the disciplines of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

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