social

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.'
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.
CNN
"A similar emoji, called 'Rolling on the Floor Laughing', is also no longer in vogue. When asked about that emoji over a video call, Thiru visibly grimaced. 'I don't like that one,' she said. 'My mom doesn't even use it.'"
this CNN Business generational conflict article about emoji style. They missed the real story that Gen X only uses one emoji that isn't even an emoji: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
Bryan Alexander
"More than one third of Americans turn to Facebook for news, which is a big chunk of the population. Around one fourth fire up YouTube for this purpose.  Following those is Twitter, then smaller and smaller numbers for the rest."
A look at social media preferences through the lens of higher ed.
Platformer
"Americans voted Trump out of office, but instead of accepting that result, he has sought to overturn it. By inciting the violent occupation of the US Capitol, Trump has given up any legitimate claim to power. In 14 days, barring catastrophe, he will be out of office. The only question is how much damage he will do in the meantime — and we know, based on long experience, that his Twitter and Facebook accounts will be among his primary weapons."
Taking away some ability to incite violence would be a good step.

Update (1/7): Facebook bans Trump for his remaining time in office right after congress confirmed the electoral college votes and the Georgia election determined Democrats would control Congress.

Update (1/9): Twitter permanently bans Trump. And all attempts to use related accounts.
New York Times
"In response, the employees proposed an emergency change to the site’s news feed algorithm, which helps determine what more than two billion people see every day. It involved emphasizing the importance of what Facebook calls “news ecosystem quality” scores, or N.E.Q., a secret internal ranking it assigns to news publishers based on signals about the quality of their journalism...Typically, N.E.Q. scores play a minor role in determining what appears on users’ feeds."
Facebook has developed an internal metric for determining the quality of a news source but they choose not to use that knowledge in how they distribute information.
Twitter Blog
"Though this adds some extra friction for those who simply want to Retweet, we hope it will encourage everyone to not only consider why they are amplifying a Tweet, but also increase the likelihood that people add their own thoughts, reactions and perspectives to the conversation."
This. But seriously, happy to see Twitter adding some friction to the system to slow misinformation. If friction helps the system during an election, why not all the time?
Gimlet Media
When you hear who Q of the conspiracy theory really is it kind of kills the mystique and makes the whole thing seem silly. PJ Vogt does some nice work here going to the origins of the mass delusion in the darker corners of the Internet.
kottke.org
Jason connects conspiracy thinking with Hannah Arendt and it is depressing.
If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer.
I have to hope that some strain of American skepticism still exists somewhere but it definitely feels like it's fading in the face of social media peer groups.
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