- Date published:
7:56 am, October 16th, 2017 - 27 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, democratic participation, facebook, interweb, spin, us politics - Tags: democracy, democracy under attack, facebook, social media
Much has been written about social media and democracy, but this long and extensively linked piece is one of the best. Alexis Madrigal in The Atlantic: What Facebook Did to American Democracy. Well worth reading the whole thing, but for a road map here are the featured quotes:
The potential for Facebook to have an impact on an election was clear for at least half a decade.
From the system’s perspective, success is correctly predicting what you’ll like, comment on, or share.
If every News Feed is different, how can anyone understand what other people are seeing and responding to?
Across the landscape, it began to dawn on people: Damn, Facebook owns us.
Videos changed the dynamics of the News Feed for anyone trying to understand what the hell was going on.
By July, Breitbart had surpassed The New York Times’ main account in interactions.
The fake news generated a ton of engagement, which meant that it spread far and wide.
The influence campaign just happened on Facebook without anyone noticing.
“These social platforms are all invented by very liberal people. And we figure out how to use it to push conservative values.”
“Facebook is what propelled Breitbart to a massive audience. We know its power.”
The very roots of the electoral system had been destabilized.