Have the Dangers of Social Media Been Overstated?

Fr0m CJR’s The Media Today by Mathew Ingram:

ON APRIL 11, The Atlantic published an essay by Jonathan Haidt titled “Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid.” In the piece, Haidt—a social psychologist at the New York University Stern School of Business and the co-author of a book called The Coddling of the American Mind—argued that social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have constructed a modern-day tower of Babel. The societal chaos that these kinds of services have unleashed, Haidt wrote, have “dissolved the mortar of trust, belief in institutions, and shared stories that had held a large and diverse secular democracy together.” (The arguments made in the piece were similar to an earlier Atlantic essay, by Haidt and Tobias Rose-Stockwell, about the “dark psychology” of social networks, which, they argue, have created a world in which “networks of partisans co-create worldviews that can become more and more extreme, disinformation campaigns flourish [and] violent ideologies lure recruits.”)