In light of the upcoming election, we, the HTR board, want to draw attention to the imminent threat that the misuse of technology poses to the democratic process. Misinformation relating to the electoral process is currently running rampant on platforms like Twitter and Facebook, companies which have failed in the past to prevent massive political interference on their platforms. This year, fortunately, they are taking significant steps to limit the spread of misinformation. We must ensure that this momentum continues to grow into long-lasting reform of social media at its core. Regardless of who wins the election, these platforms have underlying flaws that will continue to perpetuate polarization, extremism, and false content among its users. Tech companies must assume responsibility for the harm their platforms can cause, whether in the form of voter suppression or undermining public trust in the civic process. As young adults, we want to see tech and social media used carefully in the political sphere. We believe that technology will destroy our democracy unless we design it to serve it. With something so important at stake, we call on tech companies to take steps to ensure that misinformation has no place on their platforms.
Harvard Technology Review Board
This staff editorial solely represents the majority view of The Harvard Technology Review Executive Board. It is the product of discussions at Executive Board meetings.