Social media’s “self-affirming feedback loop” encourages “expectations for a custom-made reality” and indignation about anything “that deviates from our preferences.
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.”
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.
- This photo and caption was widely distributed on Facebook.
- The assertion at the bottom is an outrageous lie.
- The individual, Major Terri Gurrola, is a Senior Physician Assistant (PA-C), graduate trained in emergency medicine. She provides health care services to service members, and to community members and local children in Iraq and elsewhere.
To accuse a health care practitioner of murder, as done in this social media poster, is libel.
This is one of the most disturbing and vicious propaganda posters distributed on Facebook. This poster illustrates the horrendous danger of social media, the sick individuals who inhabit social media (and newspaper comment forums) and the undue influence they hold over others through spreading their own messages of hate.
- More info on the photo and background story
- Major Gurrola’s LinkedIn page
- Source of image where 928 people say they “Like” this
This example illustrates how easy it is to
1. Create a propaganda poster out of anything, twisting the original out of context.
2. Quickly spread it on social media – because people share without thinking.
3. And stupidly engage in online libel.
I do not know the original source for this altered image but it has been shared widely online, and then commented by many other people who believe the poster is accurate. Thus, an outright lie was turned into a “true fact” by propaganda, even though it is absolutely false.
Social media is very, very frightening. Outright lies are shared and turned into “true facts” through friction-less social media sharing, leading to the creation of a false virtual world where people who vote are making future decisions based on falsehoods.
The more you examine social media propaganda the more you realize, “What if you everything you think you know is a big lie?” (See next post below this one)
How do we get control over this spread of falsehood and hate on line – by people who would never ever view themselves as discriminatory and yet routinely group individuals by their membership in a group (the exact behavior or racism, sexism, ageism, ethnic-ism, etc). This behavior cuts to the core of the thinking processes of those who engage in these behaviors.
As a general rule, you can make lots of assumptions about people from their social media feed. If they’re always changing their profile pic, they’re obviously unstable. If they’re ranting about relationships, they’re high maintenance. Moaning about politics: too self-involved. Reposting old jokes/claiming nicked ones as their own: annoying/untrustworthy. Humble bragging: esteem issues, possibly insane.
As the author notes, all of these assumptions are stereotypes and our judgments of others, based on their posts, may be completely wrong. Yet we have no control over how others view our online posts, through their own “filter” of life experiences. The impact, of course, is that our social media posts may paint a picture of ourselves that is not how we see ourselves. But those posts leave a trail that others use to judge us, and judge us in ways that may be substantially wrong.