Years ago I suggested that FB was designed to create a “culture of perpetual outrage”. People who are emotionally engaged are more susceptible to advertising messages – plus, they are likely to stay connected to FB for more minutes. Internal documents reveal that FB not only knew this but gave emotional content posts higher leverage in The Algorithm that decides what you see online.
A simple research study demonstrated how FB’s algorithm readily amplify extremist political viewpoints on the left and right. The root cause is that FB optimizes for time spent engaged with FB – and does not optimize for what you may wish to see. The result is FB optimizes to keep you perpetually outraged.
The news media has labeled any discussion opposing generic cloth facial coverings as motivated by conservatives. In this case, they mislabeled an Open Schools group of mostly progressive Democrats (this is San Francisco where almost no other perspective exists) as “conservative” – because they oppose continuing to force cloth facial coverings on school kids who are fully vaccinated.
The algorithms lead to an increase in angry people and divisiveness, leading to a world of angry people, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Media says we must not refer to the initial variant of Covid as the “Chinese” variant, but almost immediately refers to the “UK variant”, the “Brazilian variant”, the “South African variant”, and now the “India variant”. The lack of consistency in their cultural of outrage is remarkable.
This is what happens when we constantly seek out reasons to be perpetually outraged. The world is overrun with individuals who every day, intentionally seek out things to be outraged about. Common speech is now perceived as intentional and hurtful sleight to someone, somewhere. There is nothing we can say anymore without offending someone, somewhere. I have referred to concepts as “brain dead”, which is likely offensive to those with brain injuries. Which, should be obvious by now, includes me.
Major bookstore pulls a book from its shelves after a group known for violence threatens the book store if they continue to carry the book. This, in turns, yields the Streisand Effect – those not aware of the book learn more about it because of the protest and decide to buy it.
It also raises questions about the roles of gatekeepers – the world’s largest independent book store is being forced to pull a book off its shelves.
Most online social media platforms have taken steps to remove Trump’s access, as well as insurrectionists and their supporters, from using social media platforms. The problem is that social media is THE DRIVER of the breakdown of society.
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?