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
After the Westminster attack in London, some one posted a photo on social media purporting to show a Muslim woman indifferent to the carnage. The photo went viral but of course, was out of context. Yet the social media outrage culture quickly condemned her and an entire ethnic group, all due to a propaganda lie.
The photographer whose photo was stolen and distributed has provided additional photos showing she was clearly as distraught as everyone else, as anyone with a brain would expect.
Source: Photographer who took picture of Muslim woman trolled for ‘casually’ walking by London terror attack victim reveals the truth
This example illustrates how propaganda no longer needs a broadcast license or a printing press. Thanks to social media, any idiot can be in the propaganda business.
This also illustrates how social media has become the most powerful tool in the hands of propagandists everywhere, who are using social media to make all of us worse off.
Attkisson: When people get online every day and take part in social media or do searches for news, what is it you think they don’t know?
Matthew Brown: I don’t think they know they’re being manipulated.
Matthew Brown is a data analyst who pierces the secrecy behind paid efforts to influence online.
Attkisson: What areas of the Internet are used to shape and manipulate opinion?
Matthew Brown: Everywhere social. Everywhere social means specific Facebook pages, but it also means the comment sections in every major newspaper.
Brown began investigating after his health insurance costs tripled and he commented about it on the Obamacare Facebook page. He got bombarded, he says, by digital activists disguised as ordinary people.
Brown: Digital activists are paid employees; their purpose is to attack anyone who’s posting something contrary to the view the page owner wants expressed.
Brown decided to use analysis software to crunch the numbers. He evaluated 226,000 pro-Obamacare posts made by 40,000 Facebook profiles. What he found was remarkable.
Brown: 60 percent of all the posts were made from 100 profiles, posting between the hours of 9 and 5 Pacific Time.
Attkisson: Which means what?
Matthew Brown: They were paid to post.
Source: Sum of Knowledge Part 1