Is Social Media Destroying Our Democracies?

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NorthReport
Is Social Media Destroying Our Democracies?
alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I think the simple and accurate opinion is YES. Too much bullshit floating around facebook and twitter etc.....

Pondering

No it isn't. It opens up an opportunity. It wildly increases the potential for democracy. It undermines traditional media's monopoly on mass communication. I wonder if someone like Bernie Sanders could have risen so high without social media. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
No it isn't. It opens up an opportunity. It wildly increases the potential for democracy.

The dream:  "Discussing the new immigration bill online, with a diverse group of citizens and stakeholders, helped me to better understand what's being proposed, and being able to fact-check various claims meant I could consider the real costs involved."

The reality:  "FreedomPatriot.org says that if elected, the Democrats would force everyone to adopt a gay Costa Rican refugee, so of course I immediately forwarded that to my 341 Facebook friends!"

NorthReport

Well it sure has given every sicko on the planet a platform if the freaks who responded here are any indication 

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.thestar.com/amp/vancouver/2019/04/17/this-woman-asked-trudeau-about-islamophobia-then-the-online-hate-began.html

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
No it isn't. It opens up an opportunity. It wildly increases the potential for democracy.

The dream:  "Discussing the new immigration bill online, with a diverse group of citizens and stakeholders, helped me to better understand what's being proposed, and being able to fact-check various claims meant I could consider the real costs involved."

The reality:  "FreedomPatriot.org says that if elected, the Democrats would force everyone to adopt a gay Costa Rican refugee, so of course I immediately forwarded that to my 341 Facebook friends!"

Sure it also gives opposition the opportunity to spread hate and misinformation but if progressives can't win the argument it isn't the fault of the medium being used. We have greater opportunity to reach people through social media than we ever did through traditional mediums. Telephone chains were much more arduous to use than facebook. Activists worldwide have an unprecedented ability to contact one another instantly. 

"The Dream" is unrealistic. That facebook doesn't provide a venue for in depth discussions is immaterial. Where would the Young Turks be without Youtube?  We link to youtube political videos frequently. There are lots of speeches I would never have heard or read about were it not for Youtube. 

I don't think activists are using social media as well as they could be using it (yet) but that is not the fault of the medium. 

Unionist

Quote:
Is Social Media Destroying Our Democracy?

Not sure. But I do know that social media are destroying our grammar.

cco

I don't think it's fair to blame the Latin abuse of using "media" as a singular word on social media, since I've heard it since long before Twitter and Facebook were around.

josh

It lessens the opportunity for consideration and perspective.  Increases the opportunity for participation and exchange of views. 

Pondering

The word medium has two plural forms—mediums and media—and which one you use depends on what you're talking about.

If your subject is art, it's okay to use mediums or media. For science and communication, media is generally preferred. And if you're talking about fortunetellers and psychics, you always refer to them as mediums.

https://www.shmoop.com/grammar/spelling/media-vs-medium.html

Unionist

cco wrote:
I don't think it's fair to blame the Latin abuse of using "media" as a singular word on social media, since I've heard it since long before Twitter and Facebook were around.

You're absolutely correct, of course. I was just trying to be cute (with my usual limited success). I blame the author of the thread title. And I think it's undeniable that social media allow linguistic usages, whether right or wrong, to proliferate exponentially.

Unionist

Pondering wrote:

The word medium has two plural forms—mediums and media—and which one you use depends on what you're talking about.

If your subject is art, it's okay to use mediums or media. For science and communication, media is generally preferred. And if you're talking about fortunetellers and psychics, you always refer to them as mediums.

https://www.shmoop.com/grammar/spelling/media-vs-medium.html

Good point! But still, both "mediums" and "media" is plural. Neither one are singular.

MegB

Not the first time I've, and others, thought a "like" button would be helpful here. But we're not FB and real time here relies on how often you refresh the browser. Anyway, carry on.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

MegB wrote:

Not the first time I've, and others, thought a "like" button would be helpful here. But we're not FB and real time here relies on how often you refresh the browser. Anyway, carry on.

Despite the need to refresh the page to see an up to date count, I would vote for a like button.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Unionist wrote:

Good point! But still, both "mediums" and "media" is plural. Neither one are singular.

I see what you did there. ;)

Unionist

MegB wrote:

Not the first time I've, and others, thought a "like" button would be helpful here. But we're not FB and real time here relies on how often you refresh the browser. Anyway, carry on.

Unionist

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Good point! But still, both "mediums" and "media" is plural. Neither one are singular.

I see what you did there. ;)

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Remember when babble had emoticons?

Mobo2000

Ug, thumbs down on the like button from me.   Facebook should be more like babble, not the other way around.

Unionist

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Remember when babble had emoticons?

You mean, like, 10 years ago maybe? I vaguely do.

Mobo2000

I would like a poll feature on babble instead of like buttons -- where a babbler could set a poll question and available responses, and only 1 vote per account.  

Unionist

Mobo2000 wrote:

I would like a poll feature on babble instead of like buttons -- where a babbler could set a poll question and available responses, and only 1 vote per account.  

Agreed. But didn't we use to have that, or is it my vivid imagination acting up again? E.g., what was madmax referring to here?

cco

EnMasse (may it rest in peace) had a like button. People, er, liked it.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I'm not sad there's no "Like" button here.  If people like a post they can say so, but I don't see much merit in being able to do so anonymously and silently.  It certainly doesn't encourage discussion.  I'd also be leery of it being used to "crowdsource" who is right and who is wrong.

NorthReport

We are no match for what is out there unless we act 

Beware the ‘Weaponized’ Web, Says Guy Who Helped Elect Trump

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie on Facebook, democracy and hope.

Is there hope?

I think there is. The fact that in under a year it’s become such a prevalent conversation I think is really hopeful. A year and a half ago, it was a niche, abstract issue talked about at the ivory towers of the university. Now it’s in mainstream political discourse.

The first step to any kind of social change is awareness. We can’t move anywhere until people are aware that there’s a problem. I am hopeful because only a couple years ago, these giant tech companies were seen as sort of the saviours of mankind, but now kind of look like another douchey oil company who are trying to hide what they do, trying to whitewash and greenwash or in this case machine-wash what they’re doing. But actually it’s all bullshit, and it’s just another big corporation. I think people are starting to wake up to that and that actually is what makes me hopeful. Regular people who don’t have tech backgrounds are starting to talk about it.  [Tyee]

https://thetyee.ca/News/2019/04/19/Beware-Weaponized-Web/

NorthReport

Toward a Youth Manifesto on Digital Rights and Responsibilities

Workshop has students explore issues around growing up in the digital age.

https://thetyee.ca/News/2019/04/17/Youth-Manifesto-Digital-Rights-Workshop/

WWWTT

Mobo2000 wrote:

Ug, thumbs down on the like button from me.   Facebook should be more like babble, not the other way around.

Agreed. 

It would create a bunch of problems. If you write a good comment and nobody likes, the writer may be discouraged. If you write a comment in a certain manner and it gets likes, you may be encouraged to keep writing comments in a similar fashion. 

When I was on fb, I had already seen and heard many complaints that went something like this. 

Going out drinking with with friends tomorrow and getting shit faced! 765 likes

The government is increasing military spending and cutting funding for education 5 likes  

Now that’s an extreme example that probably wouldn’t translate the same way on babble, but you get where I’m getting at  

Oh I forgot to add, you can already like someone’s comment, just wright another comment saying so!


 

WWWTT

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I'm not sad there's no "Like" button here.  If people like a post they can say so, but I don't see much merit in being able to do so anonymously and silently.  It certainly doesn't encourage discussion.  I'd also be leery of it being used to "crowdsource" who is right and who is wrong.

agreed

WWWTT

Is Social Media Destroying Our Democracies?

For me this is an odd thread title. I’m no fan of the imperialist invention “western democracy”, so I sure as hell wouldn’t defend it!

Also, isn’t babble social media? Is babble hurting western democracies?

NorthReport

Nothing is perfect but sorely needed.

Confronting the Disinformation Age

 

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/04/17/opinion/disinformation-will-only-ramp-we-approach-federal-election

Martin N.

Social media's greatest accomplishment is proving Einstein correct. When asked the difference between genius and stupidity, Einstein said that genius has limits.

I think a 'like' feature is needed but not a 'dislike' feature.