Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management has a reputation for making things up. Yesterday, they claimed that 500,000 or 10% of Oregon’s population had evacuated due to wildfires. This claim received national and international media coverage. The Oregonian noted no where near that many people live in the evacuation zones. This afternoon, they have acknowledged its closer to 40,000, not 500,000. See how Internet memes get generated by fake data from official government sources?
An actual assault by right wing political supporters on the campaign manager of a Democratic Party rival was misreported as an assault on a senior citizen, probably to increase the emotional appeal of the message.
We all have social media “friends” who spend nearly all of their online time promoting their politics, usually from the stand point of anger and outrage. Their lives appear consumed by anger and outrage to the point that the only thing they have to talk about is how awful politician X is, or political party Y is, or about how we must all support protest Z (and if we don’t agree, then we are Nazis or Marxists).
Do we want to hang out with people who are perpetually angry and outraged? Should we say something to them about how they come across online?
Facebook acknowledges that it is a friction-less platform for the spread of propaganda. The popular chat platform will follow in sister company WhatsApp’s footsteps by limiting users to only five forwards at a time, Facebook said in a blog post, which it hopes will keep people from spreading potential misinformation to many friends at once. “Limiting forwarding is an effective way to slow the spread of viral misinformation and harmful content that has the potential to cause real world harm,”…