media

Press Watch
Meanwhile, these same political journalists are also handicapping the 2022 and 2024 elections as if things were normal — as if it were still just a choice between two equally legitimate political parties, rather than a referendum on whether the government should be allowed to function, whether the people should be allowed to pick their leaders in the future, and whether white Christian nationalism formally replaces pluralism as the country’s organizing principle.
It seems like journalists everywhere aren’t allowed to accurately describe how the Republican Party is behaving. This article demonstrates what a more accurate description looks like.
apnews.com
Post-election, the company dissolved a unit on civic integrity where she had been working, which Haugen said was the moment she realized “I don’t trust that they’re willing to actually invest what needs to be invested to keep Facebook from being dangerous.”
Dissolving society for profit.
YaleNews
”Amplification of moral outrage is a clear consequence of social media’s business model, which optimizes for user engagement,” Crockett said…She added, “Our data show that social media platforms do not merely reflect what is happening in society. Platforms create incentives that change how users react to political events over time.”
The "we are merely passive mirrors showing society as it is" argument is BS. I recommend that people switch to blogging which has next to zero engagement. This void encourages you to maintain existing levels of outrage. But seriously, a primary by-product of Facebook and Twitter are trolls.
Mother Jones
"The Fox pipeline is pretty simple. Fox News stokes a constant sense of outrage among its base of viewers, largely by highlighting narratives of white resentment and threats to Christianity. This in turn forces Republican politicians to follow suit. It’s a positive feedback loop that has no obvious braking system, and it’s already radicalized the conservative base so much that most Republicans literally believe that elections are being stolen and democracy is all but dead if they don’t take extreme action."
Looking at the roots of polarization since 2000 there’s a certain cable TV elephant in the room.
The Why Axis
"The “both sides” model of journalism is being exploited by bad actors intent on spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories. “If the weight of the evidence allows you to make a judgment, but instead you go with ‘he said, she said,’ you're behaving recklessly even as you tell yourself you're doing the cautious thing,” as press critic Jay Rosen notes."
Hedging must feel like the safe path for journalists—especially since they wouldn't want to anger Big Dowsing. This is a good example of how baked-in both-sides thinking is. See also.
Fansplaining
"More than anything else, Tumblr in 2020 is a self-sustaining ecosystem. It’s a semi-sealed and increasingly fertile terrarium, a nigh-impossible perpetual-motion machine of a platform going productively psychotic in its isolation."
Nice look at the recent history and current state of Tumblr.
Maybe Baby
"I’ve at times felt overwhelmed by how poorly my social accounts communicate who I am. I think I used to find this motivating—post through it! be seen!—sometimes even found it fun. But I’m becoming less energized by trying to prove the unprovable. Even defeated. These media are simply inadequate at expressing humanity."
A cathartic description of recognizing the inadequacy of social media. Also this line from Adam Curtis via Idler: 'We are so much more than what they are forcing us to accept.'
Esquire
"Elevated Stupidity stems from the idea that being good at arguing is the same thing as being correct. That rhetorical skill—or at least a degree of big debate-club energy sufficient to wear out one’s opponent—is the equivalent of intelligence."
This article makes me tired, but yes this big debate-club energy is powering The Discourse.
19thnews.org
"The act reflected many of the core tenets of journalism: Afflicting the comfortable, shining a light on wrongdoing, bearing witness on behalf of the marginalized, speaking truth to power."
She changed the world by being a witness.
Galaxy Brain
"The social internet promised us deep human connections — the sort that requires nuance and patience for messiness — but instead, it’s just turned us all into brands."
Insightful analysis of The Discourse.
The Message Box
"Think strategically about how you want to allocate your attention. Many of the worst people on the Internet wake up every morning to hijack your attention. They want to use your outrage to build their brand and amass political power. Denying them the engagement they so desperately crave is how we fight back against the politics of 'owning the libs.'"
Trolling works. I appreciate the appeal here but I believe this approach takes the pressure off of platforms. Twitter and Facebook et al should be improving and enforcing their policies to stop disinformation. Sure, we can always do better as individuals, but the people who run large social media platforms have been mostly absent.
npr.org
"Many of the 12, he said, have been spreading scientifically disproven medical claims and conspiracies for years. Which provokes the question: Why have social media platforms only recently begun cracking down on their falsehoods?"
It’s much easier to poison the information well than we realize because social media platforms don’t have an incentive to fix it. Poisoned water might even bring people to the well more often.
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