social

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.
washingtonpost.com
"Facebook has constrained its efforts against false and misleading news, adopted a policy explicitly allowing politicians to lie, and even altered its news feed algorithm to neutralize claims that it was biased against conservative publishers, according to more than a dozen former and current employees and previously unreported documents obtained by The Washington Post."
This article is a good summary of how Facebook rewrote its policies to accommodate hate speech and misinformation so they could stay in favor with the current administration. Related, so far more than 100 advertisers have agreed to stop advertising on Facebook in July: Facebook’s reckoning arrives.

Facebook is on the Wrong Side of History

So much Facebook in the news:

NYT: What’s Facebook’s Deal With Donald Trump?
"While executives across Facebook insist that Mr. Zuckerberg’s position on free speech on the platform is a matter of long-term planning and principle, not political expediency, his political team also recognizes that they are badly out of position for a Democratic administration."
Mashable: Facebook faces boycott push from NAACP, ADL, and other civil rights groups
"They allowed incitement to violence against protestors fighting for racial justice in America in the wake of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and so many others. They amplified white nationalists by including news sources with known extremist ties into their 'fact checking' program. They turned a blind eye to blatant voter suppression in their platform."
And I think this older article from April gives important context about why exactly Facebook's alliance with the administration is dangerous:

The Atlantic: How Facebook Works for Trump
"Instead of paying to put particular media in front of a specific audience, an advertiser now pays Facebook to deliver a selected outcome from a certain stripe of people. For example, a clothing manufacturer might pay Facebook for webpage visits from women in their 30s who live in Los Angeles, or for likes by parents with college degrees whose online behavior is similar to that of users who had previously made purchases."
The combination of microtargeting, proprietary machine learning, increasing radicalization through recommended groups, and an unwillingness to prevent voter supression or misinformation is hurting our ability to have a healthy democracy.
The Verge
By continuing to provide him with a platform, Facebook and Twitter have become a key mechanism in the president’s effort to silence his critics and violate their civil rights — not in their news feeds or timelines, but where they worship, where they gather, and even where they live.
I know I'm a broken record on this, but Facebook is a key piece of infrastructure for our lives and it's doing real harm in the world.
nytimes.com
"Facebook’s principles and policies supporting free speech “show that the right action where we are right now is to leave this up,” Mr. Zuckerberg said on the call referring to Mr. Trump’s posts."
I just deleted my Facebook and Instagram accounts after reading this. Enough.
nytimes.com
Matt Haughey on social media trolls:
“Every bad thing at MetaFilter happened with someone who had been testing the rules for a year or two,” he said. “Those are the ones who tend to blossom into super-trolls over time. They’ll see what they can get away with, they’ll figure out what the limits are, and just stay a step inside. It can go on forever. And when you inevitably break and say, this is a bad idea, they freak out, and try to play the victim.”
Good for Twitter for starting to enforce their terms at this late hour. I can imagine a world where they enforced their terms all along and it makes me disappointed and angry.
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