Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Change is wrought by those willing to lead or force others toward it.
There have been so many conversations on the impact of fake news on the recent US elections. An already polarized public is pushed further apart by stories that affirm beliefs or attack the other side. Fake news is a serious problem that should be addressed.
But by focusing solely on that issue, we are missing the larger, more harmful phenomenon of misleading, biased propaganda.
What actually happened there? How disrespectful was the cast towards Mike Pence? The short video embedded in that piece makes it seem like it. But this video on ABC suggests otherwise. Biased information — misleading in nature, typically used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view — is a much more prevalent problem than fake news.
When a number of conspiracy theories, powered by some real events and amplified by mainstream media, culminated in the New York Times sending a notification that Clinton fainted?
You know, that week when hundreds of articles were published on a topic many people promptly moved on from and forgot? While there are articles going back to mentioning a coughing fit, this recent cycle began as this YouTube video posted on August 4 and started to make its way through 4chan, Redditand the social web; it now has 5.
The video is craftily edited, pausing and piecing together troubling visual imagery of Clinton coughing and making strange faces. On August 22, Clinton went on Jimmy Kimmel Live, dispelling the rumors but giving the topic more attention.
The next spike in attention happened on August 29, when Donald Trump seized on the topic, challenging Clinton to release her medical records. Look at the list of publishers who covered this: But this was not only happening on social networks.
Same goes for YouTube: One of the challenges around this media episode is how facts and fiction intermingle, how visual storytelling plays into our emotions, picking disturbing images, stitching together snippets of video, creating a compelling narrative — all amplified by a few real coughing fits, as well as a real case of pneumonia.
And when she actually became sick, conspiracy theorists and journalists alike coalesced around the topic, publishing continuous coverage and sending out dire notifications.
Israeli society has been subject to these phenomena through a number of wars and military operations. Two years ago I wrote about how social networks helped Israelis and Palestinians build a form of personalized propaganda during the last Israel-Gaza war.
The shape of conversations and responses to events typically looked something like the graph below, where one frame of the story tends to stay on only one side of the graph, while a completely different take spreads on the other.
Rather, each carefully crafted story on either side omitted important detail and context. It was viewed over 2. Israeli Zionists curse a dying Palestinian child as Israeli Police watch….
His name was Ahmad Manasra and his last moments were documented in this video. But neither the caption nor the video itself presents the full context.
Just before Manasra was shot, he stabbed a few passersby, as well as a year old Israeli Jew. Later, he was taken to a hospital. The visualization below shows how two very different versions of this story spread within disparate echo chambers, before any mainstream media Reuters in this case picked it up.
This dynamic unfolds continuously, especially around political events, helping us construct our own realities and reinforce our existing beliefs. And the pace at which content cascades through the network is staggering.
Noah Feldman writes about the completely different information realities that the Israelis and Palestinians have constructed: Israelis believe theirs is a democratic society in which the police enforce the law rather than break it; Palestinians think Israeli security services shoot first and ask questions later… Facts are real, and can be true or false.
But how we determine those facts is highly inflected by our circumstances — which can lead to interpretations that seem crazy to the other side.
Media Hacking, Algorithmic Gaming In a co-authored essayJohn Borthwick and I define Media Hacking as the usage and manipulation of social media and associated algorithms to define a narrative or political frame.
In that essay, we showed a few examples of ways in which individuals, states, and non-state actors are increasingly using Media Hacking techniques to advance political agendas.
As I was analyzing this data, it was striking for me just how organized this group of supporters seemed to be.The Coddling of the American Mind. In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like.
Racism. Every individual on earth has his completing causes; consequently an individual with perfect causes becomes perfect, and another with imperfect causes remains imperfect, as the negro who is able to receive nothing more than the human shape and speech in its least developed form.
We are now just past what I referred to as "the next decade" (in the original paper) wherein so much was/continues to be determined about how - and how soon - we begin this next age - or if we do - before the planet (otherwise) overhauls itself.
Jan 29, · Political polarization in Congress seems to be affecting the relationship between Congress and the Supreme Court, inadvertently strengthening the Court at the expense of Congress. These days – unlike in the past – Congress rarely overrides the .
The Polarization of the British Political System Essay 64) Nigel Lawson is suggesting that Thatcherism follows the notion of classical liberalism, because it’s primary goal emphasis on securing the freedom of the individual by limiting the power of the government. Political culture is defined by the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences as the "set of attitudes, beliefs and sentiments that give order and meaning to a political process and which provide the underlying assumptions and rules that govern behavior in the political system".It encompasses both the political ideals and operating norms of a polity.