“Impact of social media on knowing about the world–net positive or negative”
(“wildfire of false information”–nice. There’s a growth period)
I believe social media can be a really important source for news. Though as we have come to learn social media can also have a way of spreading like wildfire, as mentioned. Once information is out there it is there throughout the web forever. Referring back to our reading, results show that people who see an article from a trusted sharer, but not as easily as one written by an unknown media source. When people see news from a source or person they trust, the less likely they will question the facts, non-bias, more known than a sketchy source. With this being said, I believe news sources have to be very careful when dealing with social media, today news will end up on social media platforms rather they want it to be or not.
In class we have started to discuss lying when it comes politicians. Everybody knows that politicians lie, it is practically in their blood. In one of our articles titled “Yes, I’d Lie to you”, talks about a concept called post-truth. Post-truth is used a lot by our current president, post-truth is used in politics to fire up the voters. Even if what they are saying does not bear any reality. They use it to speak to appeal to your emotions. This is an interesting concept that makes complete sense, and it is a smart tool to use in the public eye. Though it bothers me thinking about how many times people have been lied to. Another article talks about cognitive dissonance. That is when people have extreme discomfort of simultaneously holding two thoughts that are in conflict. People often look for information that support their ideas and views. They often shut out the information that does not comply with their opinions. It is very easy for fake media to become popular now a days. The article also talked about how groups of people are better at coming up with correct answers to reasoning tasks than individuals. One of the fish bowl questions that really stayed on my mind was talking about how if the president inpires bad behavior. Since so many things have happened during his presidency this was a very good question. In the group we pretty much all agreed that he does. Most people are followers and when the leader of our country gaslights the nation so easily, you can not expect anything better. Many follow the lead of the president, which should be an okay thing, but when we do not have the best role model it is scary. I have really enjoyed the topics we have been discussing. This entire class has been full of “ahh” moments for myself.
We have recently started discussing sources and how reliable they are and how one can tell. A recent reading we had was called “Yes, I’d lie to you” was published by The Economist. After doing some digging I discovered it was started in 1843 by a hatmaker to campaign against the protectionist corn laws. They now talk about things like science, tech, business, financial markets, and politics. In the article they go over the term “post truth”, this is when they don’t care if it bares any reality, just what will fire up the voters. Appealing to their emotional side rather than relying on factual evidence. We also read an article called “This article won’t change your mind”. This article was done by Atlantic Daily, where they believe in honest reporting. They are known for challenging assumptions and pursuing the truth. They talk about cognitive dissonance where the extreme discomfort of simultaneously holding two thoughts that are in conflict. They say groups are usually better at coming up with correct answers to reasoning tasks than individuals. One passage talks about how the internet is so large that is has evidence for both sides of a claim. But many will seek out the side that supports their opinion. They use the fact that it was on the internet to support that the claim they have is more known, the more people who believe it the more convincing it is. The article as a whole is discussing confirmation bias, they refer to it as motivated reasoning. They also say how it isn’t as important to what the information is saying, but what people are saying about the information. I think that people have a preference for the sources that support their position. That doesn’t mean that they’re never encountering what the other side is saying. They’re just dismissing it when they do.
Recently, we have been discussing conspiracy theories. What is the difference between a theory and a conspiracy theory. People believe in things for different reasons, for conspiracy theories people can use them for explaining things that do not make sense. My group did our presentation on Flat Earthers. Flat earth was a very interesting topic, almost hysterical. Flat Earthers make up 2% of our population. That is over 6.5 million people in the US alone. There is the spearhead of the movement, his name is Mark Sargent. He started out doing podcasts and videos explaining his reasoning. The flat earth society just held its first international conference back in 2017. They believe that the north pole is in the middle and the continents surround it. Leaving antarctica as an ice wall around the edge. They picture the world looking like a planetarium, where the stars are lights in the ceiling. They say the sun is on a spinning device that goes closer and further from the land masses giving us what we call seasons. They believe we were put here on purpose for a certain reason but the reason was unknown. Mark Sargent spoke about how the first rule of power, is never knowing who truly holds the power. That is there way of explaining why they don’t know more. In one documentary I watched they went with a reporter for national geographic, where a group of debunkers chose the largest lake in California to do an experiment to prove the earth is indeed, round. Aristotle performed a similar experiment many years ago. They placed a striped flag on a boat and when the boat went out straight long enough the stripes began to disappear from the bottom, proving the earth was curving. As the flat earthers watched this experiment, they claimed it was a factor of heat. Conspiracy theories never fail to amaze me.