The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

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The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#1

Post by Addie » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:17 am

The Guardian
'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia ...

These refuseniks are rarely founders or chief executives, who have little incentive to deviate from the mantra that their companies are making the world a better place. Instead, they tend to have worked a rung or two down the corporate ladder: designers, engineers and product managers who, like Rosenstein, several years ago put in place the building blocks of a digital world from which they are now trying to disentangle themselves. “It is very common,” Rosenstein says, “for humans to develop things with the best of intentions and for them to have unintended, negative consequences.” ...

There is growing concern that as well as addicting users, technology is contributing toward so-called “continuous partial attention”, severely limiting people’s ability to focus, and possibly lowering IQ. One recent study showed that the mere presence of smartphones damages cognitive capacity – even when the device is turned off. “Everyone is distracted,” Rosenstein says. “All of the time.” ...

Since the US election, Williams has explored another dimension to today’s brave new world. If the attention economy erodes our ability to remember, to reason, to make decisions for ourselves – faculties that are essential to self-governance – what hope is there for democracy itself?

“The dynamics of the attention economy are structurally set up to undermine the human will,” he says. “If politics is an expression of our human will, on individual and collective levels, then the attention economy is directly undermining the assumptions that democracy rests on.” If Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are gradually chipping away at our ability to control our own minds, could there come a point, I ask, at which democracy no longer functions?
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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#2

Post by RoadScholar » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:24 am

They said the same thing about television.

Not saying they were wrong...
The bitterest truth is healthier than the sweetest lie.
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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#3

Post by Addie » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:15 pm

The Verge
How Facebook rewards polarizing political ads

As the debate intensifies around Russian ad buys in the US election, a fundamental aspect of Facebook’s platform has gone mostly overlooked. Facebook’s auction-based system rewards ads that draw engagement from users by making them cheaper, serving them to more users for less money. But the mechanics that apply to commercial ads apply to political ones as well. Facebook has created a powerful system that dynamically, and unpredictably, changes the prices of political ads. The system also encourages polarization by incentivizing ads that users are predisposed to agree with. ...

Most media outlets do not routinely set prices based on the content of the advertising, or how much their audiences are expected to enjoy it. But Facebook does: the company adjusts the number of people an ad will reach after it is posted and users began interacting with it. This approach has upended traditional approaches to political advertising, in ways that campaigns are only beginning to reckon with. ...

But even as Facebook makes unpopular messages more expensive to distribute, it can still promote polarization on a grander scale: thanks to Facebook’s microtargeting capabilities, voters can see fewer viewpoints that they might disagree with, because Facebook algorithms treat disagreement as bad for the user experience. On one hand, the actual impact of these dynamics is unknown; public data simply isn’t available. But on its face, the ad engine would seem to promote the creation and exploitation of filter bubbles.

In the pre-digital era, political candidates seeking to buy advertising competed on a relatively even playing field. Candidates buying airtime on television shows, ad space in newspapers, or postage for direct mail, are charged roughly equivalent prices to reach the same amount of people. Since 1927, the equal-time rule has required radio and television stations to offer equivalent time to political candidates if they ask for it, and at the same price. It originated out of fears that broadcasters would refuse to sell time to political candidates — or sell it to them at unfair rates.

The fact that one of the country’s dominant political ad platforms throttles messaging based on its shareability is a fact political campaigns must reckon with, and adapt to. “It’s the same dynamic that BuzzFeed and Jonah Peretti really mastered,” says Tim Wu, author of The Attention Merchants, an examination and critique of ad technology on Facebook and other platforms. “Vitality depends on strong emotional responses, hence polarized messages, whether advertising or news or whatever, travel further.”
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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#4

Post by maydijo » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:42 pm

I'm sorry, I'm sure this is important, but I kind of tuned out. Can someone just put it in a tweet for me?

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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#5

Post by June bug » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:45 pm

maydijo wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:42 pm
I'm sorry, I'm sure this is important, but I kind of tuned out. Can someone just put it in a tweet for me?
may! :rotflmao:

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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#6

Post by Addie » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:57 pm

Good one :P
maydijo wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:42 pm
I'm sorry, I'm sure this is important, but I kind of tuned out. Can someone just put it in a tweet for me?
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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#7

Post by Addie » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:42 pm

WaPo
How Russian content ended up on Pinterest ...

San Francisco-based Pinterest is the latest in a growing list of Silicon Valley companies that hosted or were exploited directly by the Russian disinformation campaign. The acknowledgement by Pinterest also highlights an essential truth of the internet that helped bolster the Russian agenda -- once content appears on a site or social network, it can be shared across the web by ordinary Americans in unpredictable ways and reach a far broader audience than its initial readership.

The content generated by Russian operatives was not only aimed at influencing the election. Many of the posts and ads intended to divide Americans over hot-button issues such as immigration or race. ...

“They’ve gone to every possible medium and basically turned it into a sewer,” said Jonathan Albright, research director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, who unearthed the Russian content on Pinterest. He says he found over 2,000 images tied to the Internet Research Agency on the book-marking site. ...

Pinterest is used by roughly 100 million U.S. users each month, the company says. Seventy percent of the users are women, many outside of coastal cities. Content does not spread on Pinterest the way it does on Facebook. Trends like “mason jars” and “spicy bacon” go viral on Pinterest when many users like the content and the company’s software then begins recommending it people’s feeds. Political content has never gone viral on Pinterest, Hale said. Unlike Facebook, Pinterest does not give users the ability to blast content out to many users in their network at once.

Danah Boyd, founder of the non-profit Data & Society Research Institute, said she wasn’t surprised to see a tentacle of the Russian effort reach all the way to Pinterest. “Many of those seeking to manipulate the media ecosystem are throwing large amounts of spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks,” she said, in an email. “Yet, Pinterest isn’t known for political (or even news-y) content. So I can’t help but wonder who is aiming to influence crafty people and homemakers. Or perhaps the goal is simply to pollute the entire information and social media landscape.”
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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#8

Post by Addie » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:26 pm

The Atlantic
What Facebook Did to American Democracy

And why it was so hard to see it coming ...

As all these examples show, though, the potential for Facebook to have an impact on an election was clear for at least half a decade before Donald Trump was elected. But rather than focusing specifically on the integrity of elections, most writers—myself included, some observers like Sasha Issenberg, Zeynep Tufekci, and Daniel Kreiss excepted—bundled electoral problems inside other, broader concerns like privacy, surveillance, tech ideology, media-industry competition, or the psychological effects of social media.

The same was true even of people inside Facebook. “If you’d come to me in 2012, when the last presidential election was raging and we were cooking up ever more complicated ways to monetize Facebook data, and told me that Russian agents in the Kremlin’s employ would be buying Facebook ads to subvert American democracy, I’d have asked where your tin-foil hat was,” wrote Antonio García Martínez, who managed ad targeting for Facebook back then. “And yet, now we live in that otherworldly political reality.”

Not to excuse us, but this was back on the Old Earth, too, when electoral politics was not the thing that every single person talked about all the time. There were other important dynamics to Facebook’s growing power that needed to be covered. ...

But as far as “personalized newspapers” go, this one’s editorial sensibilities are limited. Most people are far less likely to engage with viewpoints that they find confusing, annoying, incorrect, or abhorrent. And this is true not just in politics, but the broader culture.

That this could be a problem was apparent to many. Eli Pariser’s The Filter Bubble, which came out in the summer of 2011, became the most widely cited distillation of the effects Facebook and other internet platforms could have on public discourse.
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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#9

Post by Addie » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Business Insider - Natasha Bertrand
An intern at the Trump campaign data firm, Cambridge Analytica, left sensitive voter targeting tools online for nearly a year ...

Albright, who heads Columbia's Tow Center for Digital Journalism and recently published extensive research on Russia's use of Facebook during the election, said Cambridge Analytica's real-time social media mining tool was not necessarily complex or novel in and of itself.

What is more interesting, he said, is how the tool appeared to retrieve people's recent tweets and favorites to "expand" Cambridge Analytica's body of keywords "around specific objects of election 'outrage' sentiment'" — like abortion, citizenship, naturalization, guns, and Planned Parenthood. ...

Additionally, the intern appeared to have left Cambridge Analytica's Twitter API key online when he uploaded the scripts. Albright said he left what amounts to the account username and password that companies and developers use to search and pull tweets and user profile information from Twitter. The keys were removed in February, Albright said.

Albright said the code for the tools was "sitting right on Github for almost a year: from March 2016 to February 2017 — the last 8 months of the US election."

"That's a security issue, in my opinion," Albright added. "Could Russia find this and use it? Absolutely."
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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#10

Post by Addie » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:07 am

Bloomberg
Facebook and Google Helped Anti-Refugee Campaign in Swing States ...

The issue gets thornier when it comes to working with groups on the fringes of the political spectrum. Earlier this year, for instance, Facebook worked closely with Germany’s far-right, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which was also represented by Harris Media. In meetings at Facebook’s Berlin office, executives encouraged the AfD and Harris Media to use Facebook Live in addition to its ad spending to better target German voters, Bloomberg Businessweek reported last month.

Google and Facebook, similarly, worked closely with Secure America Now as it spent several million dollars on election-season ads, according to the people who worked on the campaign. On June 16 of last year, for instance, sales managers from Google’s elections team hunkered down in its New York offices with officials from Secure America Now and Harris Media to talk about how to improve their digital ad campaigns.

In the months that followed, Secure America Now targeted swing-state voters not only with its faux-tourism videos, but also ads that linked Democratic Senate candidates with Syrian refugees and terrorists. “STOP SUPPORT OF TERRORISM. VOTE AGAINST CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO,” stated one ad targeting the Nevada Democratic Senate candidate who eventually won the race. “YOU SAW THE THREAT. NOW VOTE TO PROTECT NEVADA,” declared another ad. ...

Secure America Now was launched in 2011 to oppose the construction of a community center and mosque in Manhattan near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. ... In the ensuing six years, the group has been sharply critical of the Obama administration’s handling of Benghazi, where U.S. personnel were killed in a 2012 attack on a diplomatic compound in Libya, as well as its nuclear deal with Iran.

During the 2016 campaign, in addition to its ads about Muslims and refugees, the group made a parody site, “Hillary’s Inbox,” with fake email chains between the candidate, her advisers and public figures. Secure America Now ran ads for the site on the Fox News politics page last October, according to internal reports, generating more than 206,000 visitors to the parody site.
Adding:
Daily Beast: Trump Campaign Staffers Pushed Russian Propaganda Days Before the Election

Kellyanne Conway and Donald Trump Jr. pushed messages from an account operated from Russia’s “troll farm”—including allegations of voter fraud a week before Election Day.
CNN: In attempt to sow fear, Russian trolls paid for self-defense classes for African Americans

A group linked to the Russian troll farm behind thousands of fake Facebook ads paid personal trainers in New York, Florida, and other parts of the United States to run self-defense classes for African Americans in an apparent attempt to stoke fear and gather contact details of Americans potentially susceptible to their propaganda.
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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#11

Post by Addie » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:29 pm

Vanity Fair
How Facebook and Twitter Quietly Helped Trump Win

If you made a list of the factors that landed Donald Trump in the White House, Trump campaign digital director Brad Parscale would put Facebook near the top. “Facebook now lets you get to places—and places possibly that you would never go with TV ads,” Parscale told CBS earlier this month. “Now, I can find, you know, 15 people in the Florida Panhandle that I would never buy a TV commercial for. And, we took opportunities that I think the other side didn't.” As major tech companies face mounting criticism for the polarizing, hyper-partisan advertising and disinformation disseminated on their platforms during the 2016 election, a new study suggests that employees at Facebook, Google, and Twitter took on crucial roles within the Trump campaign, acting more akin to political strategists than tech employees, and shoring up digital operations in a way Team Trump could not have accomplished on its own.

Embedded tech employees took on such responsibilities as targeting hard-to-reach voters and coming up with responses to probable lines of attack during debates, according to Politico. “Facebook, Twitter, and Google [went] beyond promoting their services and facilitating digital advertising buys,” the peer-reviewed paper concludes. The companies “actively [shaped] campaign communications through their close collaboration with political staffers.” ...

The collaboration likely proved lucrative for all three companies—online political-ad spending during the 2016 election totaled $1.4 billion and is expected to double in 2020—the Trump campaign spent $70 million on Facebook alone. Like almost everyone else, the overwhelmingly liberal tech industry never expected the polarizing real-estate mogul to win, which meant collaborating with his campaign was a money grab free of consequence. And, Politico points out, it carried additional benefits: national exposure, a testing ground for new features and products, and the chance to build a relationship with a candidate who might end up holding the regulatory reins once in office. Following the 2016 election, however, the symbiotic relationship between politicians and tech companies has caused many to question whether Facebook, Twitter, and Google are abusing their ability to control the flow of information, forcing Facebook executives to embark on a public apology tour, and leaving all three giants poised for a reckoning that could curtail their power.
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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#12

Post by Addie » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:28 pm

Politico
Twitter urged firms to delete data during 2016 campaign ...

For at least four years before the 2016 election, researchers who monitor Twitter had openly criticized Russia for using the platform to meddle in other elections, especially in Ukraine.

They had also pointedly criticized Twitter for its failure to do anything substantive about that meddling, including not changing its deletion policy to allow for saving of material that might be useful to researchers and law enforcement.

“This policy allows adversarial intelligence agencies and other disinformation operators to edit the news and then remove their traces,” according to Thomas Rid, a professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University and a leading cyber-researcher who was the first person to publicly link Russia to the WikiLeaks release of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee. “It means they can run operations more effectively and more covertly than ever before, and we may never find out exactly how they pulled it off.”

Now, more than a year later, Twitter’s deletion policy – and how it changed over time, and why – merits further scrutiny by congressional committees investigating Russian meddling in the U.S. election and the apparently significant role social media played in it, the analysts said.

“If certain aspects of content on Twitter reveals that there has been interference in our elections, especially by foreign actors but also by people in our country, the public has a right to know,” Woolley said. “But before the public has the right to know, I think that congressional investigators, third-party researchers, a lot of other people need to have this information. And this effort to obfuscate information that has been deleted or made private is super problematic.”
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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#13

Post by Addie » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:48 am

New York Times Op-Ed
How Twitter Killed the First Amendment ...

What can be done? It is time to recognize that the American political process and marketplace for ideas are under attack, and that reinvigorating the First Amendment is vital. First, it is an imperative that law enforcement and lawmakers do more to protect journalists and other public speakers from harassment and threats. Cyberstalking is a crime. And as the Supreme Court has made clear, threats of violence are not protected speech. A country where speaking one’s mind always results in death threats is not a country that can be said to be truly free.

Second, too little is being done to protect American politics from foreign attack. The Russian efforts to use Facebook, YouTube and other social media to influence American politics should compel Congress to act. Social media has as much impact as broadcasting on elections, yet unlike broadcasting it is unregulated and has proved easy to manipulate. At a minimum, new rules should bar social media companies from accepting money for political advertising by foreign governments or their agents. And more aggressive anti-bot laws are needed to fight impersonation of humans for propaganda purposes.

Finally, the White House needs to be held accountable when it tries to use private parties to circumvent First Amendment protections. When it encourages others to punish its critics — as when it demanded that the N.F.L., on pain of tax penalties, censor players — it is wielding state power to punish disfavored speech. There is precedent for such abuses to be challenged in court.

Some might argue, based on the sophomoric premise that “more speech is always better,” that the current state of chaos is what the First Amendment intended. But no defensible free-speech tradition accepts harassment and threats as speech, treats foreign propaganda campaigns as legitimate debate or thinks that social-media bots ought to enjoy constitutional protection. A robust and unfiltered debate is one thing; corruption of debate itself is another. We have entered a far more dangerous place for the republic; its defense requires stronger protections for what we once called the public sphere.
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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#14

Post by Addie » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:06 pm

Economist
Once considered a boon to democracy, social media have started to look like its nemesis ...

Looking at the role that social media have played in politics in the past couple of years, it is the fake-news squalor of Gamergate, not the activist idealism of the Euromaidan, which seems to have set the tone. In Germany the far-right Alternative for Germany party won 12.6% of parliamentary seats in part because of fears and falsehoods spread on social media, such as the idea that Syrian refugees get better benefits than native Germans. In Kenya weaponised online rumours and fake news have further eroded trust in the country’s political system. ...

Governments simply do not know how to deal with this—except, that is, for those that embrace it. In the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte relies on a “keyboard army” to disseminate false narratives. His counterpart in South Africa, Jacob Zuma, also benefits from the protection of trolls. And then there is Russia, which has both a long history of disinformation campaigns and a domestic political culture largely untroubled by concerns of truth. It has taken to the dark side of social media like a rat to a drainpipe, not just for internal use, but for export, too. ...

The average piece of content is looked at for only a few seconds. But it is the overall paying of attention, not the specific information, that matters. The more people use their addictive-by-design social media, the more attention social-media companies can sell to advertisers—and the more data about the users’ behaviour they can collect for themselves. It is an increasingly lucrative business to be in. On November 1st Facebook posted record quarterly profits, up nearly 80% on the same quarter last year. Combined, Facebook and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, control half the world’s digital advertising. ...

People do not share content solely because it is informative. They share information because they want attention for themselves, and for what the things they share say about them. They want to be heard and seen, and respected. They want posts to be liked, tweets to be retweeted. Some types of information spread more easily this way than others; they pass through social-media networks like viruses—a normally pathological trait which the social-media business is set up to reward.

These stories and incendiary posts bounce between social networks, including Facebook, its subsidiary Instagram, and Twitter. They often perform better than content from real people and media companies. Bots generated one out of every five political messages posted on Twitter in America’s presidential campaign last year. The RAND Corporation, a think-tank, calls this integrated, purposeful system a “firehose of falsehood”.
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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#15

Post by Addie » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:16 am

Tech Crunch
As David Letterman’s first Netflix guest, Barack Obama warns against the ‘bubble’ of social media ...

On the tech front, Obama repeated some of the points he made in a recent BBC interview with the U.K.’s Prince Harry. After being asked about threats to our democracy, Obama warned against “getting all your information off algorithms being sent through a phone.”

He noted that he owes much of his own political success to social media, which helped him build “what ended up being the most effective political campaign, probably in modern political history.” So he initially had “a very optimistic feeling” about the technology, but he said, “I think that what we missed was the degree to which people who are in power … special interests, foreign governments, etc., can in fact manipulate that and propagandize.”

Obama then recounted a science experiment (“not a big scientific experiment, but just an experiment that somebody did during the revolution that was taking place in Egypt”) where a liberal, a conservative and a “quote-unquote moderate” were asked to search for “Egypt,” and Google presented each of them with very different results.

“Whatever your biases were, that’s where you were being sent, and that gets more reinforced over time,” he said. “That’s what’s happening with these Facebook pages where more and more people are getting their news from. At a certain point you just live in a bubble, and that’s part of why our politics is so polarized right now.”

Appropriately for a politician who was so closely associated with hope, Obama also offered some optimism: “I think it is a solvable problem, but I think it’s one that we have to spend a lot of time thinking about.”
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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#16

Post by Addie » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:44 am

WaPo
Twitter to tell 677,000 users they were had by the Russians. Some signs show the problem continues

Twitter says it will notify nearly 700,000 users who interacted with accounts the company has identified as potential pieces of a propaganda effort by the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election.

The company on Friday also disclosed thousands of accounts that it said were associated with the Kremlin-linked troll farm, the Internet Research Agency and the Russian government, adding to numbers that it released to Congress in October.

Twitter said that it had identified 3,814 IRA-linked accounts, which posted some 176,000 tweets in the ten weeks preceding the election, and another 50, 258 automated accounts connected to the Russian government, which tweeted more than a million times, while acknowledging that “such activity represents a challenge to democratic societies everywhere,” in a release on Friday afternoon.

The disclosures are the latest sign of how widely the effort to disrupt the 2016 election through disinformation permeated the services of social media companies, including Twitter, Facebook and Google. And it is yet another instance where Twitter appears to be adjusting its service in the wake of cultural shifts exposed by Russian meddling.
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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#17

Post by pipistrelle » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:54 am

maydijo wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:42 pm
I'm sorry, I'm sure this is important, but I kind of tuned out. Can someone just put it in a tweet for me?
I saw you. You were over there taking selfies.

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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#18

Post by pipistrelle » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:56 am

Addie wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:44 am
WaPo
Twitter to tell 677,000 users they were had by the Russians. Some signs show the problem continues
One of the "some signs" is how heavily Russian accounts were involved in #ReleaseTheMemo. They were all over that yesterday. May still be today.

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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#19

Post by Addie » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:46 pm

WaPo
Top congressional Democrats call on Facebook, Twitter to urgently investigate and combat Russian bots and trolls

The request comes during a growing online campaign to release a classified memo about allegations that the FBI mishandled a classified surveillance request as it probed Russia’s meddling in the 2016 campaign.

Hashtags such as “#ReleaseTheMemo” have been trending on Twitter in recent days, and accounts affiliated with Russian influence have been supporting this effort, according to a U.S.-based project that examines efforts by Russia and other nations to interfere in democratic institutions.

This is a developing story. It will be updated.
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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#20

Post by Addie » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:14 am

BuzzFeed News
He Predicted The 2016 Fake News Crisis. Now He's Worried About An Information Apocalypse. ...

Ovadya saw early what many — including lawmakers, journalists, and Big Tech CEOs — wouldn’t grasp until months later: Our platformed and algorithmically optimized world is vulnerable — to propaganda, to misinformation, to dark targeted advertising from foreign governments — so much so that it threatens to undermine a cornerstone of human discourse: the credibility of fact.

But it’s what he sees coming next that will really scare the shit out of you.

“Alarmism can be good — you should be alarmist about this stuff,” Ovadya said one January afternoon before calmly outlining a deeply unsettling projection about the next two decades of fake news, artificial intelligence–assisted misinformation campaigns, and propaganda. “We are so screwed it's beyond what most of us can imagine,” he said. “We were utterly screwed a year and a half ago and we're even more screwed now. And depending how far you look into the future it just gets worse.”

That future, according to Ovadya, will arrive with a slew of slick, easy-to-use, and eventually seamless technological tools for manipulating perception and falsifying reality, for which terms have already been coined — “reality apathy,” “automated laser phishing,” and "human puppets."

Which is why Ovadya, an MIT grad with engineering stints at tech companies like Quora, dropped everything in early 2016 to try to prevent what he saw as a Big Tech–enabled information crisis. “One day something just clicked,” he said of his awakening. It became clear to him that, if somebody were to exploit our attention economy and use the platforms that undergird it to distort the truth, there were no real checks and balances to stop it. “I realized if these systems were going to go out of control, there’d be nothing to reign them in and it was going to get bad, and quick,” he said.
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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#21

Post by Addie » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:55 pm

WIRED: Inside the Two Years that Shook Facebook—and the World

How a confused, defensive social media giant steered itself into a disaster, and how Mark Zuckerberg is trying to fix it all.
Adding:
Daily Beast: Silicon Valley and the Threat to Democracy

Forget Russian hacking—the real threat to democracies around the globe is social media’s inexorable and unavoidable destruction of common ground and shared perspective.
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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#22

Post by Addie » Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:49 pm

Vox
Study: Conservatives amplified Russian trolls 30 times more often than liberals in 2016

Conservatives were much more likely than liberals to retweet Russian trolls in the 2016 election, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Southern California released this month. It traced Russian efforts to influence America’s 2016 presidential campaign via Twitter using 45 million election-related tweets generated by 5.7 million users in a one-month period ahead of the election; researchers delved into what information was spread by trolls, who spread it, and how many times those tweets were shared. The study focused on content from the 2,752 now-deactivated Russian troll accounts identified by Congress in November.

The USC researchers found that conservatives retweeted Russian trolls about 31 times more often than liberals and produced 36 times more tweets. Most retweets of the trolls came from two specific states: Tennessee and Texas. Of the accounts analyzed, they estimated that 4.9 percent of liberal-leaning accounts that spread troll content were bots, and 6.2 percent of conservatives ones were bots.

“Although an ideologically broad swath of Twitter users were exposed to Russian trolls in the period leading up to the 2016 US presidential election, it was mainly conservatives who helped amplify their message,” USC researchers Adam Badawy, Emilio Ferrara, and Kristina Lerman wrote.

During the period they examined — September 16 to October 21, 2016 — the researchers found that trolls were producing more conservative content than liberals, but also that conservative users were much more inclined to amplify the message. There were about four times as many Russian trolls posting conservative content than liberal ones, and they produced about 20 times more content, most of which had a right-leaning, pro-Trump agenda. Conservative-leaning Twitter users were picking up what Russian trolls were putting down.
Democracy is a garden that has to be tended. -Barack Obama

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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#23

Post by Addie » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:40 pm

Mother Jones: Inside the Right-Wing YouTube Empire That’s Quietly Turning Millennials Into Conservatives

The viral videos from Dennis Prager’s “university” have clocked more than 1 billion views.
Democracy is a garden that has to be tended. -Barack Obama

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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#24

Post by Addie » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:33 pm

CNet: How to delete your Facebook account, once and for all
PCWorld: How to delete, disable, or limit your Facebook account
Democracy is a garden that has to be tended. -Barack Obama

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Re: The Attention Economy: What Hope for Democracy?

#25

Post by Addie » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:59 am

NPR - Scott Simon
A Country Divided, Click By Click

When Adlai Stevenson ran for president in 1952, he famously complained that ad agencies sold political candidates like soap. These days, we might long for the times in which candidates were sold like soap. ...

But the growing revelations about Facebook and Russian trolling in the 2016 elections has reminded us that political advertising has been succeeded by what is now called "targeted messaging" on social media platforms.

Those messages don't have to urge you to vote for a certain candidate. They can be contrived stories that disparage someone, promote a lie, feed a fear or fuel a prejudice.

It is as if, to use that soap analogy, people on social media pointed at spots on their arms and claimed a certain soap had splotched them. The charges and stories don't have to be true. They just have to make us wonder.

We shouldn't be surprised. What has made social media companies so valuable to investors isn't just that they reach billions of people; radio and television have reached masses of people for decades.

But today's social media reach into us. They know not only our likes and dislikes, but can also infer our moods and fears by what we say, order, joke about, search for, play, like, loathe or long for; all of those clicks are shared, stored, and studied. Social media companies don't make money by keeping our information confidential; they sell it for a price.
Democracy is a garden that has to be tended. -Barack Obama

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