How can the science of catastrophic collective behavior provide insight into the woes of social media platforms?
On Thursday, November 4, the Berkman Klein Center’s Institute for Rebooting Social Media hosted an invited workshop to collaboratively explore this question. The inspiration for the workshop came from the paper “Stewardship of global collective behavior” spearheaded by Dr. Joseph Bak-Coleman and co-written with authors from the physical, biological, and social sciences. The paper uses examples from climate change and conservation biology to illuminate critical questions about social media, including: What does it mean to treat social media like a crisis discipline, or a discipline that lacks the luxury of time? How does network structure, and the types of interactions allowed via that structure, affect the spread of information in a group?