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In the months following the 2016 election, the phenomena of the “Internet bubble” has quickly become well-documented. Writers, thinkers, and cultural producers have wondered aloud: “why in a robust, prolific information environment do we consume and share out media that confirms our pre-existing biases?” This program is a live exploration of this issue and, more importantly, a forum for discussing solutions on how to bridge our nation’s divide and use art, storytelling, and visual analysis to exit our own echo chambers.

This is a free event, but please register in advance. ICP Members have access to the best seats at our public programs in our reserved members’ section.


  • Amanda Hess (moderator)
  • Hilary Swift
  • Jon Keegan
  • Vicki Boykis


Amanda Hess (moderator) is currently the David Carr Fellow at the New York Times. She reports on online culture, teenagers, gender, and sex for a variety of publications that include the New York Times Magazine, ESPN the Magazine, Elle, WIRED, Marie Claire, NYLON, the Los Angeles Times, DETAILS, and the Village Voice. She covered women and Internet culture as a staff writer for Slate, where she won a Newswomen’s Club of New York Front Page Award. She also co-founded Tomorrow magazine, a one-shot publication about the future. Hess’s work appears in The Book of Jezebel: An Encyclopedia of Lady Things, Best American Sportswriting 2014, and Best American Magazine Writing 2015. Her story featured in Pacific Standard, “Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet,” won the 2015 National Magazine Award in the public interest category, the February 2014 Sidney Award for outstanding piece of socially-conscious journalism, and the 2015 Mirror Award for best traditional article on the media industry. She received a BA in English and creative writing from George Washington University.

Hilary Swift is a freelance photojournalist based out of New York City interested in documenting politics, social issues, and breaking news. She is a frequent contributor to the New York Times’ national, political, and metro desks. A Vermont native, Swift attended Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, studying environmental science and philosophy before obtaining her BA in visual journalism from Brooks Institute in Ventura, California.

Jon Keegan is a Senior Research Fellow at the Tow Center. Prior to joining the Tow Center, Keegan worked 18 years at the Wall Street Journal on data and building news apps. Recently he built WSJ’s award-winning “Blue Feed, Red Feed,” which looks at political polarization on Facebook. Jon worked on some of the earliest data-driven interactive projects at WSJ and led the interactive news graphics team for two years. He later worked as a Visual Correspondent and covered a wide array of topics, employing design, data visualization, and code to explore hidden patterns in technology, culture, and society. He has a BFA from Syracuse University.

Vicki Boykis is a data scientist and writer. She's passionate about examining the intersection of technology and the humanities, particularly with regards to data privacy and content creation. Her essays and fiction have appeared in Lilith, Alligator Juniper, and The Forward. You can find her writing on both tech and humanities at She holds a BS in economics with honors from Penn State University and an MBA from Temple University.

TOP IMAGE: Hilary Swift, [The sun rises on Election Day in Ambridge, Pa.], from “Election in the Rustbelt,” 2016. © Hilary Swift