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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 
3 days ago by petej
Force Fed — Real Life
This was the dream of the early internet utopians: that “the web” was a form of real anarchy, a totally voluntary system of association, interest, and desire. But of course, the internet was created and has evolved to serve the needs of capital, not the people who use it. Technology companies have recognized the possibilities for social domination opened up by increasingly geographically dispersed workplaces and communities. And the algorithmic discipline they have developed has a corresponding geopolitical imaginary.

Unlike the liberals, who have proved utterly incapable of a coherent political vision moving forward, tech libertarians have recognized the imminent collapse of the nation-state and its nonsovereignty in the face of global capital. Seeing that London, Tokyo, and New York City have more in common with each other than with Birmingham, Osaka, or Albany, they envision the political return of much smaller sociopolitical units capable of serving as effective nodes in integrated global flows without all the hang-ups of nations, borders, or social services. The “neoreactionary” right wing of this group advocates the return of monarchy, while the Burning Man–types dream of seasteading city-states, or California splitting into six parts. But in all these visions, corporate sovereigns replace national ones. The internet economy is set up to deliver and manage such a world.

The tech-futurists are post-nationalists; theirs is a fundamentally different vision from that of the neo-fascists currently rising to power. The resurgent nationalism and ethno-fascism represented by the likes of Donald Trump are a counter-tendency that wants to reinvigorate the nation-state through virulent racism and hard borders. Despite their far-reaching hopes for ethnic cleansing, these neo-fascists lack a transformative economic vision. They may be able to plunder the wealth of the wrong types of people — queers, Black people, Muslims, immigrants, Jews — who their program of intensified policing, both at borders and internally, would make vulnerable to further robbery, low-wage exploitation, or prison enslavement. Combined with total deregulation and the selling off of what’s left of the social democratic state in one last cash grab, the strategy could offer continued profits and stability of the system for the medium term. But fascist nationalism has no more ability than neoliberalism to actually solve the economic crises of capitalism or save the nation-state.
games  gaming  YouTube  recommendations  algorithms  extremism  neo-Nazism  targeting  profiling  marketing  correlation  masculinity  whiteSupremacism  predictions  conformity  stereotyping  NRx  neoreactionism  libertarianism  post-nationalism  fascism 
november 2018 by petej
Trump, stochastic terror and the hate that ends in violence — Quartz
Back in 2011, an anonymous writer coined the term “stochastic terrorism” to refer to “the use of mass communication to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable,” or, in other words “remote control terror by lone wolf.”

Stochastic means “having a random probability distribution or pattern that may be analysed statistically” but are hard to predict precisely. Vitriolic messages disseminated by pundits like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Bill O’Reilly will have the same effect as Osama bin Laden’s videotaped calls to violence, the writer warned way back in 2011.

Someone, somewhere, would react—it’s just hard to predict who and when.
USA  politics  terrorism  pipeBomb  SayocCesar  extremism  resentment  disaffection  media  incitement  farRight 
october 2018 by petej
Tommy Robinson and the far right’s new playbook | World news | The Guardian
The real challenge posed by the far right is its success at spreading anti-Muslim and xenophobic attitudes in society at large. The best defence is a political movement that has anti-racism at its core and seeks to give people greater democratic control over the way their society is organised and run. But this is about more than politics as a professional occupation: it involves all of us, and it is a matter of culture and institutions as much as elections or parliamentary debates. The leading far-right activists understand this, and the campaign around Stephen Yaxley-Lennon is just one symptom of a bigger problem – which must be challenged, locally and internationally, before it starts to do serious damage.
UK  politics  farRight  extremism  Islamophobia  RobinsonTommy  racism  xenophobia  EDL  contemptOfCourt  freedomOfSpeech  immigration  multiculturalism  BannonStephen  Breitbart  Internet  RebelMedia  FLA  DFLA  BNP  FrontNational  culture  9/11  warOnTerror  victimhood  media  publicity  authenticity  class  identity  austerity  exclusion  deindustrialisation  decline  dctagged  dc:creator=TrillingDaniel 
october 2018 by petej
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