Common Sense Launches ‘Which Side of History?’ Campaign to Challenge Leaders to Reverse the Harm Tech Is Having on Democracy and Our Lives

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today Common Sense, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families in the digital world, launched Which Side of History?, a campaign to hold Big Tech accountable for sowing mistrust and spreading misinformation, threatening free and open societies, exacerbating the gap between rich and poor, creating an unequal society, and leaving an entire segment of the population behind.

Anchored by Common Sense founder and CEO James P. Steyer’s newest book, Which Side of History?: How Technology Is Reshaping Democracy and Our Lives (available October 13, 2020), the campaign convenes leading experts and Big Tech antagonists, such as Franklin Foer,Thomas Friedman, Shaun Harper, Julie Lythcott-Haims,Roger McNamee,Shoshana Zuboff, and others for a series of live virtual events to examine the impact of the tech sector on key aspects of our society, and to offer constructive solutions for change.

“We are at a pivotal moment in history, as technology collides with our democracy, our fundamental approach to education, and our mental, physical, and emotional health,” said Steyer. “Technology’s original promise to foster connection has been lost, but it is not too late for us to right the ship. By tackling these important issues in the book, and sharing it across Common Sense’s powerful network of millions of parents and educators, my hope is that this campaign will build awareness and inspire actions that will alter the trajectory we are currently on, and result in positive changes for kids, families, and our country.”

The campaign kicks off today at 10 a.m. PT with a live virtual event hosted in partnership with the Commonwealth Club and moderated by Danielle Abril, tech reporter at Fortune. During the talk, titled “How Technology Is Reshaping Democracy and Our Lives,” Jim Steyer and Franklin Foer (whose essay in the book is titled, “The Era of Fake Video Begins”) will take a critical look at the use of deepfakes and how fabricated videos threaten society’s grasp of reality. These events, much like the book, will present provocative arguments, different perspectives, and calls to action to hold Big Tech accountable.

“We are pleased and honored to be partnering with Common Sense Media on this book addressing one of the most critical and far-reaching issues of our time.” —Mark Tauber, managing director, Chronicle Prism, an imprint of Chronicle Books

Upcoming Which Side of History? virtual events:

  • 10/11: Yang Gang Book Club with James P. Steyer
  • 10/20: MODERS 2020 with James P. Steyer and Sissi Cancino: “Raising Our Children in Two Worlds”
  • 10/22: The Lobby Conference with James P. Steyer
  • 10/29: The City Club of Cleveland with James P. Steyer and Julie Lythcott-Haims: “What, Me Worry? The Rise of Stealth Parenting”
  • TBD: NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center with James P. Steyer and Shaun Harper: “Technically Racist”

To preorder the book, register for upcoming events, and stay up to date on the latest Which Side of History? news, visit and follow #whichsideofhistory on social media. All proceeds from the sale of the book support Common Sense.

About Common Sense

Common Sense is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. Learn more at

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