Alan Zhu

Alan  Zhu
MIT EECS | CS+HASS Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: Aleksander Madry
Department: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Areas of Research: CS+HASS
Years: 2022-2023
Research Project Title:

Towards Better Social Media Regulation

abstract: As social media platforms have grown, they have gained large toe-holds in users' lives, controlling what users see and how they see it, as well as sensitive information about users themselves. That power has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, as leaks of private user data, propagation of misinformation and hate speech, and discriminatory practices in advertising have come into the spotlight. However, legal frameworks for governmental regulation of social media remain troubled by legal constraints and lack of technical expertise. In this work, we aim to bridge that gap by looking at the problem from both the legal and technical perspective. We hope to outline the constraints on such regulations, as well as the approaches to regulation which are likely to succeed.

I'm participating in this SuperUROP since it's the perfect opportunity for me to combine both my computational and my analytical skills. I've always been very interested in policy, and having the space to learn more about the field, while also making meaningful contributions to an important problem, is super exciting to me. Getting to learn a bit more about the research process along the way doesn't hurt!