Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Digital persuasion and the dark places of democracy

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  • Rob S,

    Since Apr 2010 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Rob S,

    And so

    According to The Daily Beast all Trump wanted to talk about, when he met Dorsey, was why his follower numbers were down, and all Dorsey wanted to talk about was what a good job Twitter had done re the opiod crisis.
    And I hear the ghost of a Roman emperor was playing the fiddle somewhere in the background.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    The Neo-Luddism Facebook page, that hasn’t noticed the AI technology mouth its sitting in.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    -

    Since Nov 2016 • 356 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    I do think there’s something new about how social media effects the liberal democratic process. Being a bit inclined to the medium is the message I think it’s partly about how things are being said not just what is being said.

    However, looking at Europe, the dynamic is a fairly straight forward one of ultra nationalism vs internationist inclusion. What brought about Brexit has been with us for a long while - in group out group antagonism. Long before social media.

    Since Nov 2016 • 356 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Neil,

    I do think there’s something new about how social media effects the liberal democratic process.

    I think there’s quite a few things, good and bad. Whats going on here at this privately operated social media is good. We are reasonably civic minded group of people, gathering and sharing our thoughts and political opinions in a conventional sense. Not unlike the proprietor operated coffee houses before television was invented. This is a highly inclusive venue, which is mainly down to the integrity of the proprietor. So nothing new there.

    “Social Media” as I think we have all come to understand, isn’t just having the ability to network and make political expresions over the Internet. Its more than a convenient way to keep in contact with your friends and family. It’s definitely something new. Its Artificial Intellagence – AI. It’s the big fucker from science fiction, It's probably worth paying attention.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Gareth,

    a case can be made for public service social media

    Perhaps NZ Post should look into as they slowly dismantle their traditional model.
    I see today that NZ Post shops seem to be pulling out of their symbiotic relationship with Kiwi Bank branches (well at least near me at the Palms Mall in Shirley) - I can't see the bank branch paying mall rent on purely banking traffic - not sure who is 'consciously uncoupling' from whom , but it just seems plain daft!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    disinformation and hacking count as methods of warfare these days.

    CyOPs?
    (add 150 - CL - and it becomes very one-eyed!)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to steven crawford,

    Not unlike the proprietor operated coffee houses before television was invented.

    Kaffee Klatsches aside, Salon is still going!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    not sure who is ‘consciously uncoupling’ from whom , but it just seems plain daft!

    Another way to look at it, is how the decision was made. The outcome of that human scientific study I’ve linked to ( which doesn’t have popups asking you to signup ) can explain a bit of that.




    Algorithm Appreciation: People Prefer Algorithmic To Human Judgment




    This advise from the very resent and solid Harvard study:

    "In an age when we routinely allow our attention and our spending to be directed by technological systems, when we rarely bother to understand those systems, let alone read the terms and conditions of our usage, we all ought to be concerned about our vulnerability to manipulation."

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Katita,

    the evolution from Silicon Valley ‘hippy’ hackers (think Steve Jobs) to Libertarian (and NZ citizen Peter Thiel) particularly chilling.

    This is well worth a watch:

    further interesting reading:
    https://thenewstack.io/silicon-valley-legend-captain-crunch-publishes-life-story/
    and
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/gilpress/2017/11/19/the-roots-of-apple-microsoft-and-facebook-in-hacker-culture/#560ff4ce2d38

    It used to be 'they' were just hacking machines - now 'they' are hacking brains and culture - NLP is just coding for wetware... Context is still king.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Rob S,

    The anonymity of a lot of these political postings lets malicious players get away with outright falsehoods.
    Surely like a lot of political ads in the traditional media a real life breathing human with contact details etc should have to associated with any ads from which Mr Zuckerburg is presumably making money from hosting.
    Time to look at this aspect of their operation as a publisher and not some hands free neutral platform.
    The devil is in the detail I know.

    Since Apr 2010 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Rob S,

    The devil is in the detail I know.

    Like this article, while we opine how our minds are being polluted. In other parts of the globe peoples environments are being polluted with the waste of the hardware now no longer fulfilling the needs of the mental polluters of the west.
    And if you click on the “About this content” in the upper left of the page The Gates Foundation grubby fingerprint can be found. Is that a conscience salve? Or maybe someone is still digging their rabbit hole just in case it comes in handy later on, to hide in.

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/apr/24/rotten-chicken-eggs-e-waste-from-europe-poisons-ghana-food-chain-agbogbloshie-accra

    The Buddha said it best 2500 yrs ago Life is suffering and we create our own suffering (unless you happen to be born poor or the wrong part of the world- a 21st century caveat).

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong,

    I think this article is a great reminder that there are two sides to every story, good and bad with every new technology and most alarming for me that social media is not just a first world problem:

    https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2019/04/why-social-media-going-dark-in-sri-lanka-isnt-as-simple-as-you-think/

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    Thats interesting. I followed a link in your article which told me about Free Basics.

    “Facebook is not introducing people to open internet where you can learn, create and build things,” said Ellery Biddle, advocacy director of Global Voices. “It’s building this little web that turns the user into a mostly passive consumer of mostly western corporate content. That’s digital colonialism.”

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    Part of it is that in NZ (and Australia) we’re culturally accustomed to some level of media regulation and a certain number of rights wrt truth in advertising and so on. None of that applies to social media, and those companies viciously defend their refusal to permit their assets to have rights or protective regulations, From their point of view any gain by their assets necessarily comes at the expense of the owners.

    For the assets it’s a whole new way of thinking about our role in society, or more accurately now, our value to their shareholders. In a sense it’s neoliberalism taken to the next level – forget selling the nations physical assets at give-away prices, now our government is giving away its very citizens. If we don't want that we need to make it very clear to the compliant nincompoop currently figureheading us into oblivion that we will not tolerate her screwing us on this as well. Climate and economics we have already given away, but democracy?

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    The US also has the "fairness doctrine" which essentially required the users of the public airwaves to be politically neutral, effects of that spun over into cable (because much of cable is also on satellite which is over the air)

    Sadly it was repealed by the Republicans in the late 80s

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong,

    I stopped worrying about facebook when all the young people left. I stopped worrying about office 365 after cancelling mother's monthly Microsoft stipend. I stopped worrying about trump after toilet paper got stuck to his shoe.

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is increasingly looking like the 21st century's Alfred P Sloan. Compare & contrast his bending over backwards for culture war profiteer Trumpnik Candace Owens.

    HuffPost: Twitter’s Jack Dorsey Told Ilhan Omar He Won’t Take Down Trump’s Tweet Targeting Her

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    I stopped worrying about facebook when all the young people left.

    Its some of the oldies that are the bigger worry, they'll fall for Marks sanitized vision of a future. In which FB will throw out a wide variety of opinion to counter the closed groups that breed on FB. How they will do that is unclear, we just have to trust Mark. But he doesnt do himself any favours, in so many ways, chatting to Yuval Harari. Try sitting thru 90 m looking at him.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to andin,

    He asked the question : “Is the world becoming more unified or fragmented?"

    The human experience is more templated and subject to targeted advertising. Thats and honest and truthful answer.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Other social media planforms that start to look more like Ubuntu and nice. Anyone had any experience running one of these social media pods?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to steven crawford,

    honest and truthful answer

    In computerspeak. Template? targeted advertising? You'd have to give me a time stamp. Im not listening thru that again.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to steven crawford,

    Or more correctly I should say it is the bland words first originated in the advertising industry to reduce people to units so they could then be marketed too, distanced and depersonalized another variable to be factored in for the spreadsheet data that is then reduced to $ & cent's
    So the exec's/shareholders can pore over this data, nod happily if the curve was going up, cause that meant they were making money and avoid any uncomfortable feelings like, Is this the right thing to do? Or any other questioning nagging doubts.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to andin,

    Another silicon valley aspiration is to be known as a "co-founder".

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

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