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Category: Culture of Perpetual Outrage

NBER paper: Why Is All COVID-19 News Bad News?

NBER paper: Why Is All COVID-19 News Bad News?

91% of US news about Covid topics was negative – even when reporting on positive vaccine developments or low case counts in schools. The media learned that consumers demand negativity – I postulate this is because consumers who are suffering from hysteria and anxiety seek out news that confirms their anxiety, and that being anxious is okay.

Bad news sells

Bad news sells

Business news reporters, who generally do a good job, also admit they believe “unfavorable articles were more likely to attract readers”. The result, across all news media, is that the news focuses on negativity and what is perceived as wrong with the world. There is rarely, ever, good news. This results in entire societies living in an unnecessary culture of perpetual outrage, fear and anxiety. This is not healthy.

Social media users photographing people in public with skin sores, and posting accusatons online that they have monkeypox

Social media users photographing people in public with skin sores, and posting accusatons online that they have monkeypox

People are photographing others in public, who have sores on their skin, and then posting these pictures or videos online, accusing them of having monkeypox and being in public. They don’t have monkeypox – they have other non-infectious conditions. Can social media users stoop any lower?

CNN dug its own grave

CNN dug its own grave

Cable “news” long ago morphed into entertainment with celebrity reporters and anchors, more interested in flaming emotions than informing you. The result is to divide society into angry camps. U.S. media has devolved to such an extent that it is hazardous to everyone and to the country. The latest round, with CNN’s firing of Chris Cuomo is just that – yet another round where these clowns were caught. This is what they are now – clowns.

FB content that caused emotional responses ranked higher in The Algorithm

FB content that caused emotional responses ranked higher in The Algorithm

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.

Simple Facebook experiment demonstrates how FB amplifies left and right extremist perspectives

Simple Facebook experiment demonstrates how FB amplifies left and right extremist perspectives

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.

SF Chronicle labels a group of mostly progressive Democrats as a “conservative parents group”

SF Chronicle labels a group of mostly progressive Democrats as a “conservative parents group”

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.