We had a chance to ask some of the panelists questions that students submitted for “Think About It: An Afternoon of Ideas.”
"Is social media suppressing sovereignty?"
"Not being a social ‘medialist,’ I don’t know if it is. But I know that throughout history, means of communication have always facilitated the people’s interest. Sovereignty is not inviolate; not virgin-like or pure. There are too many intrusions, especially in our times."
His Royal Highness Prince Turki al-Faisal
Chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies,
Former Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States
"No. It depends on your definition of sovereignty. If we are thinking of sovereignty of the people, then it’s being enhanced by social media. If we think that sovereignty only belongs to the state, then it is being both challenged and enhanced. Robert Murray, a good friend of mine, would talk about the internet and how great social media was, but he would also point out that they’ve fostered hate. …There used to be some sort of ethical code when we grew up. I’ve learned to read smarter … but I worry that the new generation of people don’t see the difference between The New York Times's posts and some random person's tweet.
Anthony Arend, PhD (F’80)
Professor of Government and Foreign Service,
Director of the MSFS Program