Stanford University
How Technology is Shaping Democracy and the 2020 Election
Stanford University

How Technology is Shaping Democracy and the 2020 Election

Taught in English

Some content may not be translated

10,487 already enrolled


Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Rob Reich
Marietje Schaake
Lisa Einstein

Instructors: Rob Reich


(64 reviews)

Beginner level
No prior experience required
3 hours to complete
3 weeks at 1 hour a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

What you'll learn

  • How US elections are administered and the challenges faced in implementing new technologies

  • The role digital and social media platforms play in our ability to maintain a healthy public discourse

  • The complex technology policy tradeoffs that affect what content we see in forming our beliefs, preferences, and convictions as citizens and voters

Details to know

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There are 5 modules in this course

Instructors Rob Reich and Marietje Schaake present the major themes and questions explored in this community awareness course on democracy, technology, and the 2020 election.

What's included

1 video

Understand the current, decentralized election system in the United States and consider the challenges election jurisdictions face to implement new technologies and administer elections amidst challenging circumstances. Featured guests include Tiana Epps-Johnson, co-founder and executive director of the Center for Tech and Civic Life, and Nate Persily, Stanford Law Professor and co-director of the Stanford Cyber Policy Center.

What's included

2 videos1 reading

Explore the uses of technology tools and platforms that influence the public sphere of information, and see how these digital tools shape the beliefs of citizens and how they grow and diminish the agency of individuals, movements, governments, and foreign entities. Featured guests include Joan Donovan, research director at the Shorenstein Center of Media, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, and Joshua Tucker, professor of politics at NYU, and co-director of the NYU Center for Social Media and Politics.

What's included

2 videos1 reading

Discover the tensions and trade-offs between the content moderation policies of technology companies, the growing calls to govern speech in the public sphere, and the challenges to creating effective public policies to address these issues. Featured guests include Evelyn Douek, a lecturer and S.J.D. candidate at Harvard Law School, and Nick Pickles, global head of public policy strategy and development at Twitter.

What's included

2 videos1 reading

Learn what is different between the 2016 and 2020 U.S. election cycles in how institutions are actively confronting disinformation and misinformation campaigns, and better understand the complexity of addressing foreign versus domestic information actors in a free society. Featured guests include Alex Stamos, director of the Stanford Internet Observatory and former chief security officer at Facebook, and Camille François, chief innovation officer at Graphika.

What's included

2 videos1 reading


Instructor ratings
4.6 (29 ratings)
Rob Reich
Stanford University
1 Course10,487 learners
Marietje Schaake
Stanford University
1 Course10,487 learners

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