Jose Marichal’s new book “Facebook Democracy: The Architecture of Disclosure and the Threat to Public Life” looks at the power of Facebook and the inherent value of its use in making people better ambassadors for democracy.
The site has more than one billion users and has flourished into an Internet phenomenon.
In many of the recent civil and governmental uprisings around the world, Facebook has become a communication outlet.
Marichal is an associate professor of political science at CLU and will speak on Facebook’s impact regarding participatory democracy.
“The talk will emphasize how Facebook affects the way we communicate with each other and the ways we see the world beyond our circle of friends,” said Marichal.
Sponsored by the Center for Equality and Justice, Marichal’s talk is one in a series of lectures.
“In sponsoring Dr. Marichal’s Facebook Democracy talk, the Center for Equality and Justice hopes to raise awareness about the impact social media has on our current political climate, as well as political decision-making in the technological age,” said CEJ Student Program Coordinator Elizabeth Barna.
Marichal researched 250 randomly selected Facebook pages from political groups around the world and found that only a very small percentage of pages actually made a call to action.
“I’ve heard a lot about the impact that Facebook had on politics, especially mobilization, and I wanted to see for myself it if was true,” said Marichal.
With the upcoming elections in the United States and controversial political issues that fill our lives today, should we fill our Facebook pages with political beliefs, thoughts and facts? Marichal is not sure.
“Facebook is about disclosing feelings to connect with ‘friends’….Politics is about talking and listening about the right way to address broad-based problems,” said Marichal.
Marichal’s talk tonight in the Lundring Events Center will focus on whether Facebook’s one billion or more subscribers can, or will, impact and emphasize the democratic process in the years to come.
“We strongly encourage students, faculty, staff and community members to attend this event because it sheds light on our current political climate and the way social media allows us to express our opinions, in addition to seeking others with similar views,” said Barna.
Marichal teaches courses at California Lutheran University focusing on politics and the Internet.
He is currently looking at how technology is improving civic life at the local level.
The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. and is free of charge.
Published Oct. 24, 2012