A battle of wits: Teams to debate regulation of social media

A battle of wits: Teams to debate regulation of social media

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The British national debate team and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln speech and debate team will spar over whether regulation of social media is necessary to protect democracy at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St.

Aaron Duncan, director of the Nebraska speech and debate team, will moderate. The winner will be determined by audience response after the debate.

"We hope this debate will further the discourse surrounding social media and tackle an issue that has become increasingly important in our society," Duncan said. "Government agencies, private corporations and citizens around the world are talking about the need to maintain free expression but also limit the potential harms that social media can create when misused. We are lucky to have two talented teams who are engaged with this issue and excited to talk about it. I expect nothing less than a smart, enthusiastic and entertaining debate."

The Chuck and Linda Wilson Dialogue, the second event in the 2017-18 series of the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues, is free and open to the public. To order tickets, click here or call the Lied Center box office at 402-472-4747. The debate is general admission, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

Since 1922, the National Communication Association has sponsored international student exchange tours to promote debate, discussion and intercultural communication. Renowned for their wit, humor and eloquence, members of the United Kingdom's English-Speaking Union tour the United States each year, debating the best and brightest at institutions of higher learning. The list of tour alumni include a British prime minister, a leader of the opposition, an archbishop of Canterbury and many senior politicians, journalists and businesspeople.

The Nebraska speech and debate team consists of 46 students, with majors ranging from communication to political science to computer science. In January, the team earned its sixth-straight Big Ten championship, capturing nine of 12 individual titles.

The debate is sponsored by the Department of Communication Studies and the Center for Civic Engagement at Nebraska.

Bryan Ming Wang, assistant professor of advertising in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, and Adam Blood, assistant director of debate in the Department of Communication Studies, will give a pre-talk at 6:30 p.m. in the Lied Center's Steinhart Room.

The E.N. Thompson series opened with a lecture by political economist Mark Blyth on Oct. 10 and ends with "A Conversation with Misty Copeland" at 7 p.m. Feb. 13. A limited number of $10 general admission tickets to the Copeland event will be available beginning at 11 a.m. Jan. 8. Details will be announced in January.

All events are streamed on the Thompson Forum website and are available on the Lincoln City and Education TV channels, campus channel 4 and KRNU radio 90.3 FM. Events are interpreted for the deaf and hard of hearing.

The E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues is a cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation, the Lied Center and the university. It was established in 1988 with the purpose of bringing a diversity of viewpoints on international and public policy issues to the university and people of Nebraska to promote understanding and encourage debate.