Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

Have you seen the Ted Talk by Carol Cadwalldr about Democracy?

Asked by JLeslie (61540points) September 25th, 2020 from iPhone

I saw an interview with her this morning. Here’s the Ted Talk:

She’s very critical of Facebook and other social media platforms breaking Democracy. That the messaging is so targeted in our news feed that we live in different worlds depending on what is being fed to us on social media rather than years past when we all heard the same information on the radio or TV.

I’d say the beginning of this was cable news and some talk radio I would say, but Facebook takes it to another level, because now foreign governments and subversive groups are targeting elections and are utilizing Facebook and people don’t even know where the information is coming from.

What are your opinions?

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8 Answers

LostInParadise's avatar

Why do people take seriously what they read on Facebook? I don’t use Facebook. Is there ever useful information that can be found there?

JLeslie's avatar

@LostInParadise Sure some of the information is useful, it’s whatever people post in Facebook. Just like sometimes fluther information is useful.

If you have a friend or relative who will let you log in as them you can see what it’s like.

LostInParadise's avatar

On Fluther, people have a history of answers that provides some insight as to their reliability. On Facebook, from what I have read, you do not necessarily know who is providing the supposed information.

JLeslie's avatar

@LostInParadise You are mostly looking at what your friends post. No different than when someone links an article on fluther. There is more and more garbage on facebook though, ads targeted towards you, but you can hid those things to some extent.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@LostInParadise The problem with Facebook is that it’s so popular. Anyone with a phone can use it. With such diversity, what you get is a crowded community with all kind of people and nothing in common. That also means the kind of contents there is super diverse in every way, from topics to level of reliability. There are some good information on Facebook, it’s just that it’s hard to find what you want when there are so many people posting all at once.

Fluther is a niche community. At least people here share something in common: our common sense and our intelligence. It’s easier to find good information here because we all know what we are looking for.

jca2's avatar

@LostInParadise What happens with Facebook is when your friends share things, let’s say they share something about Blue Lives Matter. So you click on it, “like” and then FB starts suggesting groups that are similar. So you start seeing more Blue Lives Matter stuff, and more things that maybe someone who likes Blue Lives Matter might like: maybe some pro-life stuff, maybe some stuff about people getting off welfare, maybe some stuff about the protesters ruining the country, and then soon, your “feed” is filled up with stuff like that, and you may get suggestions to follow people who post stuff like that. The people who post stuff like that may not be real people, they may be hacks, Russians or something, who have fake profiles full of hate speech and false information but you don’t know that.

Also interspersed with those political things are groups about cats or cars or funny videos or cooking or home decorating or crafts or hunting or vintage memorabilia or music or Elvis fans or Martha Stewart or parents groups in your town or whatever, so you “like” that too, and you get fed more of that which interests you, and before you know it, you’re down a rabbit hole of FB knowing what you like and feeding you more and more.

Then when Facebook knows what you’re into, they can feed you advertising that suits you.

Fluther is not like that because everyone who looks at Fluther looks at the same feed. You answer what you answer, of course, and so you follow what you follow, but when you look at the General questions or the Social questions, everyone sees the same questions.

There’s a very interesting Netflix documentary that just came out in the past few weeks, called “The Social Dilemma” which is about this very topic. How social media is targeted toward your specific needs and wants and people don’t know where the info is coming from. Also it talked about how social media affects kids and teens. It was very interesting and I recommend it.

jca2's avatar

@JLeslie: I just watched your video link. Fascinating! I recommend everyone watch “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix and also watch the video link in this post. They’re both saying similar things.

jca2's avatar

@jca2: Have you seen the documentary about it called “The Great Hack?”

I just learned about it from a Facebook group talking about Laura Linney, who’s in Ozark, and someone mentioned withdrawals from Ozark and they liked this movie. It’s about this very topic.

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