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You Are The Product
John Lanchester reviews ‘The Attention Merchants’ by Tim Wu, ‘Chaos Monkeys’ by Antonio García Martínez and ‘Move Fast and Break Things’ by Jonathan Taplin · LRB 17 August 2017
long but excellent review essay - very interesting speculation on how Facebook's monopoly could be countered towards the end
cyberpolitics  disinformation  must_read  anti-trust  antitrust 
10 days ago by osi_info_program
Has our attention been commodified? – The Economist
(This 7-minute segment is the best summary I've come across of Tim Wu's argument in "The Attention Merchants", which meshes with the thinking of James Williams [see podcast flagged just before this] and Tristan Harris.)
Has our attention been commodified?
If you’re not paying for it, you might be the product
When media is free to read, watch or listen to, does that make you the product?
According to Professor Tim Wu, author of “The Attention Merchants: How Our Time and Attention Are Gathered and Sold”, our eyes and ears have been commodified by newspapers, TV channels, search engines and social media platforms at the expense of our public sphere and our individual efficiency. We interviewed Mr Wu on our Babbage podcast, where his segment starts at 7.35:
attention_economy  cyberpolitics  disinformation 
12 days ago by osi_info_program
'Are digital technologies making politics impossible?' Talking Politics podcast
This week we talk to James Williams, winner of the inaugural Nine Dots Prize, which offered $100,000 for the best answer to the question: 'Are digital technologies making politics impossible?'  James used to work at Google and he channeled his experiences for his prize-winning entry.  He tells us what he learned there and what it means to live in the attention economy.  Plus we discuss how Trump has managed to monopolise the attention of the entire world.  Along with the money, James now has to write a book with his answer - we'll be checking in with him along the way to see how he's getting on.  With David Runciman and John Naughton. (JULY 28, 2017)
attention_economy  cyberpolitics  disinformation 
12 days ago by osi_info_program
[1707.07592] The spread of fake news by social bots
he massive spread of fake news has been identified as a major global risk and has been alleged to influence elections and threaten democracies. Communication, cognitive, social, and computer scientists are engaged in efforts to study the complex causes for the viral diffusion of digital misinformation and to develop solutions, while search and social media platforms are beginning to deploy countermeasures. However, to date, these efforts have been mainly informed by anecdotal evidence rather than systematic data. Here we analyze 14 million messages spreading 400 thousand claims on Twitter during and following the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign and election. We find evidence that social bots play a key role in the spread of fake news. Accounts that actively spread misinformation are significantly more likely to be bots. Automated accounts are particularly active in the early spreading phases of viral claims, and tend to target influential users. Humans are vulnerable to this manipulation, retweeting bots who post false news. Successful sources of false and biased claims are heavily supported by social bots. These results suggests that curbing social bots may be an effective strategy for mitigating the spread of online misinformation.
social_media  social_networks  misinformation  disinformation  contagion  networks  teaching 
21 days ago by rvenkat
It’s Time To Raise the Level of Public Debate about Syria | Tim Hayward
There is actually a group of friends who are bound by a few simple ties: a desire that what we learn about the world is the truth; a conviction that whatever pressures of life may drive human beings into conflict with one another, we should do everything in our power to deal with them without being pushed into wars. Our power may not be great as individuals, but we all partake of a power that is ultimately indomitable. As embodied creatures of this real world we have evolved with a deep commitment to pursuing truth. If our ancestors could not discern the difference between a snake and a stick, we would not be here. If we were not able to make correct judgements about myriad things every moment of our waking life, aware of it or not, we would not survive long. We have an instinct for seeking true knowledge. We are predisposed towards it. To those who want to obscure it, we will seem like partisans for the truth.
propaganda  disinformation  media  war 
22 days ago by altoii
Taking Corrections Literally But Not Seriously? The Effects of Information on Factual Beliefs and Candidate Favorability by Brendan Nyhan, Ethan Porter, Jason Reifler, Thomas Wood :: SSRN
Are citizens willing to accept fact-checks of false or unsupported claims of candidates they support in the heat of a political campaign? Previous studies have reached conflicting conclusions about people’s willingness to update their factual beliefs in response to counter-attitudinal information. To discriminate between these findings, we conducted two experiments during the 2016 presidential campaign. Our results indicate that correcting misleading claims that Donald Trump made during his convention speech and in the first general election debate reduced belief in the claims in question even among his supporters. However, attitudes toward Trump were not affected. These results suggest that corrective information can reduce misperceptions, but will often have minimal effects on candidate evaluations or vote choice.
us_politics  political_psychology  fact_checking  misinformation  disinformation  2016  experiments  brendan.nyhan 
5 weeks ago by rvenkat
President Trump’s Lies, the Definitive List
There is simply no precedent for an American president to spend so much time telling untruths. Every president has shaded the truth or told occasional whoppers. No other president — of either party — has behaved as Trump is behaving. He is trying to create an atmosphere in which reality is irrelevant.

We have set a conservative standard, leaving out many dubious statements (like the claim that his travel ban is “similar” to Obama administration policy). Some people may still take issue with this standard, arguing that the president wasn't speaking literally. But we believe his long pattern of using untruths to serve his purposes, as a businessman and politician, means that his statements are not simply careless errors.

We are using the word “lie” deliberately. Not every falsehood is deliberate on Trump's part. But it would be the height of naïveté to imagine he is merely making honest mistakes. He is lying.
7 weeks ago by campylobacter

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