Is Social Media Ruining Political Discourse (must-read via The Atlantic)
GREAT READ, provocative stuff – thanks Jay-David.
“YouTube is designed to catch you and not let go. Sometimes I access the site just to watch one thing, but then one of the related videos catches my eye. I watch that one, then another and another, and soon a five-minute visit has stretched far longer. If it’s half an hour of movie trailers, then I’m just indulging in a guilty pleasure. But what if I followed a link to “Q—The Plan to Save the World” and wound up staying for one outlandish conspiracy video after another? YouTube’s associative linking is designed to keep me clicking and watching. It has turned into a mechanism for political indoctrination, suggesting through sheer repetition that an international cabal is threatening to take over the world”
(Gerd) The FLOW concept is really useful:
“Propaganda is nothing new; it has appeared in pamphlets, books, and newspapers practically since the invention of the printing press. But social media seem particularly susceptible to spreading disinformation. That’s because social media engage viewers in a way that designers call “flow,” a psychological idea adopted as a digital-design strategy by video games. Flow focuses on keeping the user moving from one element to the next, repetitively, in search of gratification from the act of consuming media rather than from engaging with its content. When programs such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are used for political messaging, they bring flow along into the political process, even if the messages they carry are truthful and nonconspiratorial. That makes these media a threat to coherent political discourse from the age of print.”