Upcoming Events

Civic Media Lunch: "Creating a Soapbox in the Age of Digital Media"

Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 12:00pm

MIT Center for Civic Media

RSVPs are now closed.

"The Candidate" is an online multimedia platform and TV show that will re-energize the American electorate and help launch the next generation of political leaders from the grassroots.


Scott Jacobsen is a mid-career MPA student at Harvard Kennedy School and an award-winning communications and social media professional. He has worked for Republican, Democrat, and Independent U.S. Senators and has a thorough understanding of how to navigate the political landscape. He is also the Founder of the social enterprise DoneGood, a tech start-up being developed by MIT and Harvard students and venture innovation program (VIP) team at Harvard's iLab.

Nicolas Miailhe is a mid-career MPA student at Harvard Kennedy School and an Arthur Sachs Scholar. Trained as a political scientist, he brings in expertise in strategy and digital empowerment. Nicolas has over 10 years of experience working at the crossroads of government, high-technology and society, particularly in emerging markets. He is the Founding Associate of People for Global Transformation, a high-level international working-group which gathers fifteen global leaders.

Michael Evans: "Experts Rarely Make Policy"

Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 12:00pm

MIT Center for Civic Media

RSVP required below.

Michael Evans will discuss how enabling policy makers and regular people to parse tough data allows for better decisions and informed communities.

Mike is a developer and previous Code for America captain with development interests firmly in the civic sphere. Founder of PishPosh.tv, he has worked with several startups including Forrst, Creative Market and Loveland Technologies developing products enabling people to learn new skills, and about the world around them.

Civic Media Lunch: Joseph Reagle, "Comment's Mysteries"

Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 12:00pm

MIT Center for Civic Media

In his new book Reading the Comments: Likers, Haters, and Manipulators at the Bottom of the Web (MIT Press, 2015) Joseph Reagle visits communities of Amazon reviewers, fan fiction authors, online learners, scammers, freethinkers, and mean kids. He shows how comment can inform (through reviews), improve (through feedback), manipulate (through fakery), alienate (through trolling and hate), shape (through social comparison), and perplex us. While we are counseled to “avoid the comments,” Reagle argues that reading the comments permits us to ask important questions about human nature and social behavior. In this talk, he will reflect on four of those questions. What’s behind the boom and bust cycle of blog, comment, and community platforms? Second, can we trust online reviews? Third, why are comments often so hostile, sexist, and racist? And finally, how can we make sense of the product review: “saved my son’s life: 4/5 stars”?

Joseph Reagle is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern and a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. He taught and received his Ph.D. at NYU’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication. As a Research Engineer at MIT he served as an author and working group chair within the IETF and W3C on topics including digital security, privacy, and Internet policy. His current interests include geek feminism and online culture.