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This blog has noted that many social media enthusiasts enjoy the culture of perpetual outrage that seems so prevalent there (and elsewhere too). Here, Theodore Dalrymple suggests that outrage some how gives meaning to otherwise boring lives:
“Outrage is a substitute for religion: It convinces us that our existence has some kind of meaning or significance beyond itself, that is to say beyond the paltry flux of day-to-day existence, especially when that existence is a securely comfortable one. Therefore we go looking for things to be outraged about as anteaters look for ants. Of all emotions, outrage is not only one of the most pleasurable but also one of the most reliable.”
Quoted from Theodore Dalrymple
Social media’s “self-affirming feedback loop” encourages “expectations for a custom-made reality” and indignation about anything “that deviates from our preferences.
Source: Our national scourge of misinformation: George Will | OregonLive.com
Survey of college students find that Instagram is “the most narcissistic platform” that is “all-about-me”.
Same survey also found that many people delete their social media posts if they do not receive sufficient “Likes”.
Germany plans to fine social media firms if they do not remove flagged “hate speech” and “fake news” within 1 to 7 days, depending on the nature of the content. Because the time line is short and the fines are very large, social media companies are expected to err on the side of frequently censoring posts.
A grad student notes that a conventional wisdom is that grad students need to establish a social media presence. But some are finding that a break from social media is beneficial.
Government of Israel purchases software to deliver propaganda messaging on social media: “to plant an idea in the debate on social networks, web news sites and forums”. Further, “Via this system, the Israeli government is able to plant ideas in conversations on social networks and forums through an automated or semi-automated mechanism.”
Kazakhstan government moves propaganda efforts from traditional media to social media.
Why need to recognize propaganda methods: “Amazeen, who teaches mass communication, advertising, and public relations, says she has seen students turn in papers citing sober-sounding sources—educational or official groups, seemingly—“but that are in reality industry or front groups with an agenda.” She says media literacy must go beyond being able to distinguish fake news from legitimate news to include an awareness of propaganda efforts.”
Spot on: ““Fake news” is simply a recent name for deception and propaganda. While the term propaganda is often associated with Orwellian images of big government, we now live in an age where we don’t have to worry about just one big brother, but rather a thousand little brothers that are running around unabated on the Internet. Although it may seem that we hear about it more now than in the past, using deceptive practices and propaganda to influence others is nothing new.” (emphasis added).
The point above is that today, everyone can be a propagandist. No broadcast license or printing press is required. All you need is a free Facebook account.