Emma Husar

As social media has become more and more central to public debate, replacing an ever more fragmented mainstream media, its profound flaws are playing a greater role in warping and undermining that debate.

As a former spruiker of the benefits of social media, of its ability to connect people up, enabling them to avoid points of control run by gatekeepers like government and corporations, I'm either well-placed, or the last person with any right -- take your pick -- to suggest social media is ruining society. But it's hard to avoid the sense it has acted to polarise debate, to remove a shared frame of reference of common facts and values (values like, say, Nazis are bad), to act as a centrifugal force on positions, not a centripetal force.