Posts Categorized: Democracy

algorithmic amplification

What is the impact of constant misinformation on consumer social media? Dave Troy discusses the effects in a long Twitter thread: “Disinformation is the operational end of a process designed to break down society and radicalize it into cultish forms. This process leads people away from truth. We can’t address this process by distributing truth;… Read more »

facebook is not a trusted space

The time has come. Facebook is in the news today and not as the tech media darling it likes to portray itself as. “Former Facebook (FB.O) employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen will urge the U.S. Congress on Tuesday to regulate the social media giant, which she plans to liken to tobacco companies that for decades… Read more »

people, not algorithms

Can an algorithm defeat an algorithm? One group of European researchers think it can be done. I have my doubts “The approach involves assigning numerical values to both social media content and users. The values represent a position on an ideological spectrum, for example far left or far right. These numbers are used to calculate… Read more »

human engagement counters misinformation

A recent study conducted by Facebook suggests that when it comes to vaccine doubts and misinformation, “a small group appears to play a big role in pushing the skepticism”. Some of the early findings are notable: Just 10 out of the 638 population segments contained 50 percent of all vaccine hesitancy content on the platform…. Read more »

platforms and the precariat

Is it possible to be a musician today and earn a middle class income? The music industry is fundamentally broken up into three separate arms: recorded music, music licensing and live music. Where recorded music — physical album sales — was once the bread-and-butter for musicians, first the advent of piracy platforms like Napster, and… Read more »

connect, challenge, create

Education won’t counter populism — changing education might Slovakia’s president, Zuzana Caputova, was elected in March 2019, and surprisingly showed a way out of the populist quagmire that many countries find themselves in. The tribal affiliations retrieved by the previous corrupt government, particularly via social media, were what Caputova had to counter in order to… Read more »

let’s stop the war of words

A November 2019 article in the British Medical Journal showed how difficult it is to change peoples’ minds, especially with regards to vaccinations. Facts don’t change peoples’ minds. Lesson 2: don’t bring a fact to a narrative fight Experts and health professionals can arm themselves with white papers, peer reviewed studies, and symposia; but if… Read more »

a global clown show

In 2007 I was concerned that Facebook was selling personal data. That same year I asked if there could be a public alternative to Facebook. By 2010 I had left the platform. This year, after our local newspaper closed, I commented that we are now dependent on this global corporation — that uses our data… Read more »

debunking handbook 2020

The Debunking Handbook 2020 has just been published and is an excellent free guide to address the mass amounts of misinformation, disinformation, and propaganda that flow through our digital communications everyday and then influence real life behaviours. I have discussed some of these phenomena previously, in confronting the post-truth machines and pre-bunking the conspiracy theorists…. Read more »

non-violence + 3.5%

How many people does it take to change an organization or a society? Minority groups need 25% to influence the majority in a society. But it only takes 10% if the group is committed with unshakeable belief. Inside an organization, the right mix of people requires only 3% to influence 85% of their colleagues. There… Read more »