From debates about “cancel culture” and “no-platforming” to the digital disappearing of political dissenters and entire academic conferences, from Big Tech companies writing their own laws and controlling how people consume news to “black-boxed” algorithms determining how global supply chains operate and how much workers get paid, from viral protests around the world to data breaches and cyber-warfare, who or what has power in our digital world? Where does that power come from? And how does it shape our lives?

In the 21st century, digital technologies have empowered more people than ever to connect, communicate, commerce, and collectively take political action. However, those same technologies—as well as the entities and systems that control them—have altered the very terrain upon which these activities take place, absorbing them (and us) into a network of transactions and power relations structured to monetize, exploit, and surveil everything. The utopian dream that the digital era would make our lives more free and our societies more democratic has given way to a digital reality in which the meaning of freedom and the possibility of democracy are being drastically redefined. So, where do we go from here—and how do we prepare for what lies ahead?

Watch the livestreams here:

Is freedom possible in the digital era?

The utopian dream that digital technologies would make us more free has given way to a reality in which we are more surveilled and algorithmically conditioned than ever. In the first of our three-part livestream series “The Long Sili-CON,” we ask what it means to be free in the digital era.

In this special series of livestreams, co-produced by The Real News and Project Censored, we will bring together three lively panels of specialists to discuss the nature of power in the digital age. Each livestream will consist of a moderated discussion between panelists as well as an open forum where panelists will respond to viewer questions on air. The dates and times for each livestream are:

  • Wednesday, April 28, 8-9:30 pm EST
  • Wednesday, May 5, 8-9:30 pm EST
  • Wednesday, May 12, 8-9:30 pm EST

Join us and be part of the conversation!

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Project Censored is an American nonprofit media watchdog organization. Project Censored’s objectives include the training of students in media literacy, First Amendment issues, and the advocacy for free press rights.