tech

Why the coronavirus became a social media nightmare

27 Comments
By Arthur MacMillan and W.G. Dunlop

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© 2020 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

27 Comments
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How about authoritarians stop telling people what to share, think and read.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

We all need to be aware and vigilant on the powers governments have given themselves to control the outbreak of the pandemic.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

How about authoritarians stop telling people what to share, think and read.

But aren't you concerned that there are people who deliberately go online to spread misinformation? Some of them are actually in the pay of certain governments and intentionally go online to sow discord and lies.

For examples, the Kremlin's Internet Research Agency that employs hundreds if trolls to spread fake news through social media accounts and the comments section of news sites.

Surely this worries you.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Was making a face mask out of old T-shirt’s or bras fake news?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The lock downs being experienced by millions of people gives us an indication of what a Big Brother police state would be like.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Many of the traditional media outlets don't bother checking for legitimacy anymore. They get most of their stories from social media, now.

Example: the 500 lions released by Putin to keep people off the streets of Moscow.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There's so many flamers and scammers out there now telling lies, and some of them are mouthpieces for our so-called governments. There needs to be more checking for legitimacy. The news media of the US isn't reliable anymore, they tell the most ridiculous stories and the sheep tremble.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

But aren't you concerned that there are people who deliberately go online to spread misinformation?

I'm worried about authoritarian governments curtailing free speech and shutting down dissent under the guise of "misinformation".

Let people decide for themselves. We are all adults.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Let people decide for themselves. We are all adults.

That's the problem. People believe to what they want to hear! Thus it's very easy to spread false information that is multiplied in seconds around the globe by re-posting of believers.

Repeat one lie a thousand times and it will become truth! Whose words were that?

These are the tactics of the totalitarian regimes for decades - first taking control of the media. Now it's even easier for them hidden in anonymity behind the social medias.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Social media was a nightmare long before the coronavirus arrived. It has now become a conduit for the spread of misinformation, disinformation and agitprop.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"We are all adults." Unfortunately, it's not a matter of age, but of intelligence...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Let people decide for themselves. We are all adults.

I agree. Social media (in theory) represents society, meaning that there will be truth-tellers and liars, informed people and misinformed ones. We need to navigate through those people in real life, so I believe we need to navigate through them on social media as well. There will be costs to it, without question, but aren't there always in life when it comes to judging "the truth"?

Twitter (and the like) is a tech company. It's not an investigative journalism company, and not a judge and jury, so why should we put them in charge of deciding "truth" and whose truth we're allowed to (or prohibited from) repeating? Let the social media companies do their techy stuff behind the scenes to keep things running, and let the people sort out the content for themselves.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

why should we put them in charge of deciding "truth" and whose truth we're allowed to (or prohibited from) repeating?

Actually if you read the article from the point quoted below you can a prospective remedy

Prompts urging users to consider the accuracy of content they are spreading on social networks are needed, said Rand, co-author of a study on COVID-19 misinformation that was published earlier this month.

The platforms didn't say whether it was right or wrong, they just put a note asking users to think about whether it was factual themselves.

Ultimately, it's going to be up to individuals if they share something or not, and they can still do it offline or on other platforms etc, so there needs to be more public awareness campaigns about digital literacy to help people think for themselves

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm worried about authoritarian governments curtailing free speech and shutting down dissent under the guise of "misinformation".

Let people decide for themselves. We are all adults.

When this free speech is deliberate misinformation spread by unfriendly governments, no, because proper have not way of determining what is real and what's fake.

This would just leave the door open to those who want to spread lies.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Ah_soMar. 31 09:22 pm JSTI'm worried about authoritarian governments curtailing free speech and shutting down dissent under the guise of "misinformation".

Let people decide for themselves. We are all adults.

When this free speech is deliberate misinformation spread by unfriendly governments, no, because proper have not way of determining what is real and what's fake.

This would just leave the door open to those who want to spread lies.

This been going on in the US at least since 1992 when the AM dial started becoming nearly nothing but talk radio. Rubbish Limberger started belching his racist and 'anti-liberal' crap, then came other hate-mongers, conspiracy theorists, loudmouths, ignoramuses and crackpots. That has led to division, radicalization and discord in America - and take a look at it now.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What is truth and who decides it? Do we want private tech companies and corrupt governments to decide for us? I say NO.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Many of those elites who are crying 'fake news!' and campaigning to censor so called 'fake news' are the biggest purveyors of fake news themselves.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Corona Virus situation is a dream come true for globalists who want more and more intrusive and dictatorial control over the world populace.

The real nightmare is not the one highlighted in this article, it is the coming one in which our personal liberties and freedoms will be stripped away. 1984's Big Brother is around the corner. May God help us all.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

People believe to what they want to hear! Thus it's very easy to spread false information that is multiplied in seconds around the globe by re-posting of believers. Repeat one lie a thousand times and it will become truth! Whose words were that?

These are the tactics of the totalitarian regimes for decades - first taking control of the media

So, your solution is for the regimes to take control of the media?? Free speech was the first thing these regimes went after. After that, controlling the media is easy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ever heard the maxim: "Individuals are smart; people are stupid"

False information spreads faster than true information

"False news spreads faster than truth online thanks to human nature"

https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/08/false-news-spreads-faster-than-truth-online-thanks-to-human-nature/

The rapidity with which falsity travels has been proverbial for centuries: “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it,” wrote Swift in 1710.

“We have a very strong conclusion that the spread of falsity is outpacing the truth because human beings are more likely to retweet false than true news,” explained Sinan Aral, co-author of the paper.

Still, the results are robust and fairly straightforward: people just seem to spread false news faster.

It’s an unsatisfying answer, in a way, because people aren’t an algorithm or pricing model we can update, or a news outlet we can ignore. There’s no clear solution, the authors agreed — but that’s no reason why we shouldn’t look for one.

“There’s actually extensive study in human communications in why certain news spreads faster, not just a common sense understanding of it,” explained Deb Roy, the third co-author of the paper. “It’s well understood that there’s a bias to our sharing negative over positive news, and also a bias to sharing surprising over unsurprising news.”

If people are more likely to spread news that’s novel (which is “almost definitional,” Roy said) and also news that’s negative (the “if it bleeds, it leads” phenomenon), then all that remains to be seen is whether false news is more novel and more negative than true news.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How about authoritarians stop telling people what to share, think and read.

All in the name of saving lives.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The real nightmare is not the one highlighted in this article, it is the coming one in which our personal liberties and freedoms will be stripped away. 1984's Big Brother is around the corner. May God help us all.

The thing about nightmares is that they are dreams, not reality.

Preventing deliberate misinformation is not Big Brother. My freedom of speech does not include the right to shout "fire" in a crowded restaurant. Nor should it include the right to spread deliberate lies about a pandemic.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The thing about nightmares is that they are dreams, not reality

From the OED: Nightmare: a very unpleasant or frightening experience or prospect. "the nightmare of racial hatred"

Preventing deliberate misinformation is not Big Brother. 

That depends on who is defining "misinformation." Definitions matter once again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ah_soApr. 1 09:44 pm JSTThe real nightmare is not the one highlighted in this article, it is the coming one in which our personal liberties and freedoms will be stripped away. 1984's Big Brother is around the corner. May God help us all.

The thing about nightmares is that they are dreams, not reality.

Preventing deliberate misinformation is not Big Brother. My freedom of speech does not include the right to shout "fire" in a crowded restaurant. Nor should it include the right to spread deliberate lies about a pandemic.

That's been happening with AM radio talk show hosts propagating hate. Then news media on TV has been showing viewers what they want us to see. There's the Sinclair Corp. that runs ABC News, Fox News, etc. There's Rupert Murdoch and his ilk. They've been spreading lies, trivial info, and making violence (esp. wars) look so sanitized and it's been going on for nearly 30 years. It's sad and sickening.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Ah_so

Preventing deliberate misinformation is not Big Brother. My freedom of speech does not include the right to shout "fire" in a crowded restaurant. Nor should it include the right to spread deliberate lies about a pandemic.

Who gives another person, much less the media which has vested interests and governments who are in the pockets of corporate backers, the right to decide what is 'truth' on our behalf?

No one is asking for the right to shout 'fire' in a crowded building. And as far as what is true or false regarding Covid-19,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Ah_so

Preventing deliberate misinformation is not Big Brother. My freedom of speech does not include the right to shout "fire" in a crowded restaurant. Nor should it include the right to spread deliberate lies about a pandemic.

Who gives another person, much less the media which has vested interests and governments who are in the pockets of corporate backers, the right to decide what is 'truth' on our behalf? Answer: No one. That's who.

No one is asking for the right to shout 'fire' in a crowded building. And as far as what is true or false regarding Covid-19, there are many people all across the political and corporate spectrum that are trying to use this as leverage for their benefit through the use of both downplaying and exaggerating the situation.

Let the people decide.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Who gives another person, much less the media which has vested interests and governments who are in the pockets of corporate backers, the right to decide what is 'truth' on our behalf?

Everyone who participates in that media. If you don't participate, they can't tell you. If you choose to participate, they can tell you what they want.

Come on, Fox "news" wouldn't exist otherwise, so I don't know why you're complaining. It's like you don't pray to the proper god or something.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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