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Free Speech in the Age of Algorithmic Megaphones | WIRED
These small, coordinated groups have deliberately gamed algorithms so that a handful of voices can mimic a broad consensus. We’ve seen online harassment used to scare people into self-censorship, chilling their speech and eliminating those perspectives from the debate. Fake likes, shares, comments, and retweets trigger algorithms into thinking that a piece of content is worthwhile or interesting, leading to that content appearing in the feeds of millions.
virality  algorithms 
4 weeks ago by jomc
How feelings took over the world | Culture | The Guardian
These two distinctions – between mind and body, and war and peace – now appear to have lost credibility altogether, with the result that we experience conflict intruding into everyday life with increasing regularity. Since the 1990s, rapid advances in neuroscience have elevated the brain over the mind as the main way by which we understand ourselves, demonstrating the importance of emotion and physiology to all decision making. Meanwhile, new forms of violence have emerged, in which states are attacked by non-state groups (such as Islamic State), interstate conflicts are fought using nonmilitary means (such as cyberwarfare), and the distinction between policing and military intervention becomes blurred. Our condition is one of nervous states, with individuals and governments existing in a state of constant and heightened alertness, relying increasingly on feeling rather than fact.

When reason itself is in peril, there is an understandable instinct to try to revive or rescue something from the past. It has become a cliche to celebrate the rugged individualism, cold rationality and truth-seeking courage of the scientific pioneers. But in our current age, when intelligence and calculation are performed faster and more accurately by machines than by people, an alternative ideal is needed. Perhaps the great virtue of the scientific method is not that it is smart (which is now an attribute of phones, cities and fridges) but that it is slow and careful. Maybe it is not more intelligence that we need right now, but less speed and more care, both in our thinking and our feeling. After all, emotions (including anger) can be eminently reasonable, if they are granted the time to be articulated and heard. Conversely, advanced intelligence can be entirely unreasonable, when it moves at such speed as to defy any possibility of dialogue.
emotion  rationality  OxfordCircus  panic  misinformation  socialMedia  fear  instinct  rumours  virality  Germany  refugees  Facebook  populism  psychology  violence  policing  militarisation  terrorism  experts  trust  elites  resentment  inequality  exclusion  disenfranchisement  dctagged  dc:creator=DaviesWill 
9 weeks ago by petej
Why memes matter: our best shot to talk about the world in the post-truth era - Pulsar Platform
We have entered a post-truth, post-authenticity era, in which dichotomies like true/false or real/fake no longer serve us very well, especially on social media platforms.
communication  fake  news  language  memes  politics  post  truth  teenagers  virality  stream 
july 2018 by therourke
The Complexity of Simply Searching For Medical Advice | WIRED
There’s an asymmetry of passion at work. Which is to say, there’s very little counter-content to surface because it simply doesn’t occur to regular people (or, in this case, actual medical experts) that there’s a need to produce counter-content. Instead, engaging blogs by real moms with adorable children living authentic natural lives rise to the top, stating that doctors are bought by pharma, or simply misinformed, and that the shot is risky and unnecessary. The persuasive writing sounds reasonable, worthy of a second look. And since so much of the information on the first few pages of search results repeats these claims, the message looks like it represents a widely-held point of view. But it doesn’t. It’s wrong, it’s dangerous, and it’s potentially deadly.
misinformation  viral  virality  search  keyword  voids  evil  unicorn  propaganda 
july 2018 by fjordaan
Memes Are For Tricksters: The Biology of Disinformation - Mondo 2000
Back in 1990, when MONDO 2000 magazine promised Screaming Memes on its cover, it was more or less a secret argot winking at our technohip Mondoid readers.
fake  news  information  magic  memes  post  truth  trickery  virality  stream 
june 2018 by therourke
Researchers studied 160 million memes and found most of them come from two websites • Motherboard
Samantha Cole:
<p>Researchers at University College London developed a new way to measure how memes are made and spread. What they found won’t surprise anyone who’s peered into the darker parts of the internet in the last few years: The most toxic, yet most effectively spread, memes are first shared on two places, the subreddit r/the_donald and 4chan’s “politically incorrect” forum, called /pol/.

The researchers said they <a href="">studied multiplatform meme ecosystems</a>, with a focus on “fringe and potentially dangerous communities.”

“Considering the increasing relevance of digital information on world events, our study provides a building block for future cultural anthropology work, as well as for building systems to protect against the dissemination of harmful ideologies,” they added.

They’re not the first to think deeply and academically about the meme ecosystem, but the patterns they found also bolster what we already knew about memes: that based on sheer size and spread of these communities, you’re probably sharing images that were made to be distributed in toxic communities…

…/pol/ had the highest volume of memes, while the_donald was the best at getting memes spread outside of its own community. Reddit and Twitter users shared more “fun” memes, they concluded, while /pol/ and Gab saw more racist or politically-motivated images.</p>

Has anyone tried comparing their spread to actual viral spread?
virality  meme  reddit  4chan 
june 2018 by charlesarthur
Memes That Kill: The Future Of Information Warfare
Memes and social networks have become weaponized, while many governments seem ill-equipped to understand the new reality of information warfare. How will we fight state-sponsored disinformation and propaganda in the future?
ethics  language  meaning  memes  virality  stream 
may 2018 by therourke
Why Feminists Need to Seize the Memes of Production | Novara Media
Culture matters. Mainstream culture reflects and shapes the dominant ideas and behaviours of our society.
feminism  memes  politics  viral  virality  stream 
april 2018 by therourke
6 Things People Should Give Fewer Fucks About | Mark Manson
I don’t click on articles about shootings anymore. I don’t click on videos about the gun debate. I don’t read about terrorism in the news and despite the fact that the Austin bomber was blowing up people in my hometown, I didn’t read a single article about it. Fuck that guy. He doesn’t deserve my time or attention, nor does he deserve to have his name printed anywhere.

I refuse to engage any media about these people anymore. Because the only way to counteract the Kardashian Rule is by simply withdrawing your attention. To decide that you don’t give a fuck about it anymore.

you probably do know that Kardashian is somehow one of the most famous people on the planet. This is despite the fact that she has done nothing, continues to do nothing, and shows no promise of ever doing anything. This is because Kim is the original master of The Kardashian Rule. She recognized it before anybody else — that he/she who commands the most attention will be the most rewarded — and capitalized on it massively.
I don’t click on articles about shootings anymore. I don’t click on videos about the gun debate. I don’t read about terrorism in the news and despite the fact that the Austin bomber was blowing up people in my hometown, I didn’t read a single article about it. Fuck that guy. He doesn’t deserve my time or attention, nor does he deserve to have his name printed anywhere.

I refuse to engage any media about these people anymore. Because the only way to counteract the Kardashian Rule is by simply withdrawing your attention. To decide that you don’t give a fuck about it anymore.
against  news  virality 
april 2018 by dandv
Rude Awakening: Memes as Dialectical Images >
“It’s not that what is past casts its light on what is present, or what is present its light on what is past; rather, image is that wherein what has been comes together in a flash with the now to form a constellation. In other words, image is dialectics at a standstill.
geert  lovink  images  information  internet  knowledge  language  meaning  memes  module  reading  truth  value  viral  virality  stream 
april 2018 by therourke

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