petej + conspiracytheory   70

Facebook extremism and fake news: How Facebook is training us to be conspiracy theorists — Quartz
And the problem is that—unlike previous social sites—Facebook doesn’t know, because from Facebook’s perspective they have two goals, and neither is about the quality of the community or well-being of its members. The first goal is to keep you creating Facebook content in the form of shares, likes, and comments. Any value you get out of it as a person is not a direct Facebook concern, except as it impacts those goals. And so Facebook is designed to make you share without reading, and like without thinking, because that is how Facebook makes its money and lock-in, by having you create social content (and personal marketing data) it can use.

The second Facebook goal is to keep you on the site at all costs, since this is where they can serve you ads. And this leads to another problem we can talk about more fully in another post. Your average news story — something from the New York Times on a history of the Alt-Right, for example — won’t get clicked, because Facebook has built their environment to resist people clicking external links. Marketers figured this out and realized that to get you to click they had to up the ante. So they produced conspiracy sites that have carefully designed, fictional stories that are inflammatory enough that you *will* click.

In other words, the consipiracy clickbait sites appeared as a reaction to a Facebook interface that resisted external linking. And this is why fake news does better on Facebook than real news.

To be as clear as I possibly can—by setting up this dynamic, Facebook simultaneously set up the perfect conspiracy replication machine and incentivized the creation of a new breed of conspiracy clickbait sites.
Facebook  socialSoftware  bias  design  extremism  conspiracyTheory  belief  businessModels  truth  trust  familiarity  whiteSupremacism  misinformation 
8 days ago by petej
Taking back control? Brexit seems to offer exactly the opposite | Politics | The Guardian
Two male Ukip protesters, who won’t share their names, blame “fake news”, under which they classify all major media, with no exceptions. “Leave means leave. We’re not unreasonable,” insists the younger man, dressed in a parka and blue jeans. He describes himself as “a citizen journalist from southwest London”. About the Soubry incident, he is flippant: “This is a Westminster bubble, that’s how people talk in the pub. Get used to it. There is no such thing as hate speech, it’s just different opinions. I find your paper offensive. I won’t shut you down or get you arrested.”

On the street, the man still bellowing a full-throated “out means out” is enraged by a host of conspiracy theories he believes in. “I find news the way I need to find it,” he says when asked about his information. “I research people that I get it off. If I can get it from a family member then that’s it. If you were on my side, you’d be doing all that.”

The country should prepare for riots, he says. “They can’t expect the people to be law-abiding citizens when government is as corrupt as it is. All them people in here,” he claims, “are getting paid backhanders all the way through the system.”
UK  EU  Brexit  referendum  politics  polarisation  division  threats  intimidation  SoubryAnna  YellowVestsUK  CoxJo  farRight  BercowJohn  MayTheresa  ClarkeKenneth  Leave  conspiracyTheory 
9 weeks ago by petej
“When You Get That Wealthy, You Start to Buy Your Own Bullshit”: The Miseducation of Sheryl Sandberg | Vanity Fair
Why do so many M.B.A.s struggle to make the ethical decisions that seem so clear to the rest of us? Is it right to employ a scummy P.R. firm to deflect attention from our failures? Is it O.K. if we bury questions about user privacy and consent under a mountain of legalese? Can we get away with repeatedly choosing profits over principles and then promising that we will do better in the future?
SandbergSheryl  HarvardBusinessSchool  leadership  Facebook  management  transparency  anti-Semitism  conspiracyTheory  personalData  misuse  CambridgeAnalytica  ZuckerbergMark  delusion  morality  ethics  business 
november 2018 by petej
Why we stopped trusting elites | News | The Guardian
If a world where everyone has their own truth-tellers sounds dangerously like relativism, that’s because it is. But the roots of this new and often unsettling “regime of truth” don’t only lie with the rise of populism or the age of big data. Elites have largely failed to understand that this crisis is about trust rather than facts – which may be why they did not detect the rapid erosion of their own credibility.

Unless liberal institutions and their defenders are willing to reckon with their own inability to sustain trust, the events of the past decade will remain opaque to them. And unless those institutions can rediscover aspects of the original liberal impulse – to keep different domains of power separate, and put the disinterested pursuit of knowledge before the pursuit of profit – then the present trends will only intensify, and no quantity of facts will be sufficient to resist. Power and authority will accrue to a combination of decreasingly liberal states and digital platforms – interrupted only by the occasional outcry as whistles are blown and outrages exposed.
elites  representativeDemocracy  trust  politics  media  business  honesty  norms  authority  liberalism  technology  Internet  populism  lies  alienation  disillusionment  UKIP  MPs  expenses  wikileaks  phonehacking  MurdochRupert  Libor  finance  BBC  Tesco  Volkswagen  exposure  whistleblowing  FOI  BlairTony  transparency  Brexit  Leave  MetropolitanPolice  RobinsonTommy  conspiracyTheory  relativism  dctagged  dc:creator=DaviesWill 
november 2018 by petej
Donna Zuckerberg: ‘Social media has elevated misogyny to new levels of violence’ | Books | The Guardian
While there is animosity between some factions of the manosphere – Zuckerberg shows us, for instance, the petty conflicts online between PUAs and the men’s human rights movement – the common denominator, she says, remains “the use of ancient literature to represent an aspirational ideal of a world they wish they inhabited. They idealise a model that erases much of the social progress that has been made in the last 2,000 years.”
ZuckerbergDonna  misogyny  anti-feminism  hatred  PetersonJordan  incel  stoicism  misinformation  conspiracyTheory  victimhood  manosphere  classics  pseudo-intellectualism  socialMedia 
november 2018 by petej
'He's so openly racist': why does Iowa keep electing Steve King to Congress? | US news | The Guardian
Also in the interview, King discussed the theory of a “Great Replacement”, which King presented as a shared concern of Austria and the United States and summarized like this: “If we continue to abort our babies and import a replacement for them in the form of young violent men, we are supplanting our culture, our civilization.”

Asked who is behind the “Great Replacement”, King replied with an anti-Semitic smear that is ascendant among figures on the right, including the president. “I guess Soros is part of your question,” King said, referring to George Soros, the Jewish Hungarian currency speculator and philanthropist. “His money floats in in such a way you can’t see the flow, but if you trace it back you can connect it to his foundation.”
USA  politics  Iowa  KingSteve  racism  farRight  immigration  HoferNorbert  FPO  Austria  PetryFrauke  AfD  Germany  WildersGeert  Netherlands  conspiracyTheory  fascism 
october 2018 by petej
Unlearning the myth of American innocence | US news | The Guardian
American exceptionalism did not only define the US as a special nation among lesser nations; it also demanded that all Americans believe they, too, were somehow superior to others. How could I, as an American, understand a foreign people, when unconsciously I did not extend the most basic faith to other people that I extended to myself? This was a limitation that was beyond racism, beyond prejudice and beyond ignorance. This was a kind of nationalism so insidious that I had not known to call it nationalism; this was a self-delusion so complete that I could not see where it began and ended, could not root it out, could not destroy it.
USA  politics  culture  history  exceptionalism  nationalIdentity  nationalism  patriotism  segregation  racism  prejudice  class  BaldwinJames  Turkey  travel  Islam  journalism  Istanbul  AKP  Erdogan  PKK  conspiracyTheory  deepState 
august 2017 by petej
What the hell is wrong with America’s establishment liberals?
What the Russia obsession represents is a massive ethical failure on the part of American liberals. People really will suffer under President Trump—women, queer people, Muslims, poor people of every stripe. But so many in the centrist establishment don’t seem to care. They’re far too busy weaving themselves into intricate geopolitical power plays that don’t really exist, searching for a narrative that exonerates them from having let this happen, to do anything like real political work. They won’t accept that Trumpism is America, in all its blood-splattered horror—that the dry civics lesson of a democracy they love so much is capable of creating a monster. Decades of neoliberal policy disenfranchised people to the extent that Donald Trump could look like a savior; far better to just hide your bad conscience somewhere far away in Eastern Europe. It wasn’t us, it wasn’t our country, we were all duped by Putin. And if this means falling into reactionary paranoia, screaming red-faced about traitors and spies, slobbering embarrassingly over the incoherent rants of any two-bit con artist whose name isn’t Donald Trump—so be it. None of this will help anyone or achieve anything, but that’s not the point. And then, at the end, with nothing solved, they shrug at us like Eric Garland’s imagined game-theory version of Hillary Clinton. Jesus, what can you do?
TrumpDonald  USA  politics  election  Russia  GarlandEric  conspiracyTheory  gameTheory  DemocraticParty  ClintonHillary  dctagged  dc:creator=KrissSam 
december 2016 by petej
Trump’s strategy: Pull the fringes into the centre, and mainstream extremism - The Globe and Mail
Mr. Trump’s campaign has long been aimed at pulling the fringes into the centre, mainstreaming extremism so that it is not recognizable as extreme any more.

In authoritarian states, conspiracy narratives are a routine part of this practice. They operate both as a method of intimidation and as a way to rally followers. To dismiss those who propagate such narratives as “only conspiracists” is to ignore that Mr. Trump, himself, is a major conspiracist, who may soon gain access to lethal power.

One should not dismiss the processes through which he successfully cowed and manipulated institutions, or how deeply his narratives – often consisting not of substantive claims but of allusions to shadowy, unnamed forces – resonate with a frustrated public.

Mr. Trump’s campaign has been marked by violence – both threats of violence to intimidate critics and reporters into silence, and physical attacks on non-white, non-Christian citizens.

This is the kind of violence agencies like the FBI are traditionally expected to stop. But that expectation is fading. When the fringes become the centre, the centre cannot hold.
TrumpDonald  USA  politics  election  extremism  conspiracyTheory  FBI  ComeyJames 
november 2016 by petej

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