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Town Hall Seattle: Civics Series

Town Hall’s Civics series highlights everything from local policies to world politics. These events offer perspectives on a range of topics as diverse as Seattle itself—a bustling forum for activism, discovery, and thought-provoking discussion.

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Apr 17, 2019

Longtime Silicon Valley investor Roger McNamee would have howled with laughter just a few years ago if he had been told he would soon be devoting himself to decrying the massive social media engine that is Facebook. But despite his career as a mentor of tech leaders and his large shareholdings in Facebook, that’s exactly what McNamee is doing. He took the stage in conversation with KUOW’s Ross Reynolds for an exploration of his book Zucked. McNamee offered us his unflinching account of Facebook’s malignant applications during the rise of the Trump administration, and the unwillingness of Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg to reckon with the damage it has done. Drawing on insight from a team of Silicon Valley technologists, McNamee highlighted Facebook’s corrosive effects on the foundation of our democracy—and invited us to an urgent conversation about the existential threat it poses to our public health and political order.

Roger McNamee has been a Silicon Valley investor for 35 years. He co-founded successful funds in venture, crossover and private equity. His most recent fund, Elevation, included U2’s Bono as a co-founder. He has served as a technical advisor for seasons two through five of HBO’s “Silicon Valley” series and was also responsible for raising the money that created the Wikimedia Foundation.

Ross Reynolds is the Executive Producer of Community Engagement at KUOW. He creates community conversations such as the Ask A events, and occasionally produces arts and news features. He is the former co-host of KUOW’s daily news magazine The Record and KUOW’s award–winning daily news–talk program The Conversation.

Recorded live at The Summit by Town Hall Seattle on on March 30, 2019.