Monday, November 05, 2018

Facebook Tamped Down on Hoax Sites, But Polarization Thrives | Bloomberg

Apparently Facebook hasn't fixed all human cognitive biases in time for the midterms...
"Facebook built a system that specifically addresses hoax news websites and pages. But that shifted some of the fake news activity to posts and images that go viral in Facebook groups, in which old photos are often doctored or retitled to apply to current news events.

If hoax publishers aren’t as much of a problem in the U.S., polarization still is. Publishers on the far right or far left -- who don’t publish fake news so much as news in a skewed context, meant to alarm readers -- still thrive on Facebook. The social network has been asking users to rate publishers by trustworthiness, and baking the scores into its algorithm to address the issue. Still, hyperpartisan news thrives."
 On a related note, from The Real Lesson of My Debate With Steve Bannon | The Atlantic:
"The story ends, then, in a great irony. Integral to the liberal project, again in the broad sense of the word liberal, is confidence in the power of reason. Words and arguments can overbear ignorance and prejudice. Over the long term, words and arguments can even overcome oppression and violence. That’s why liberals in the broad sense are so uniquely horrified by official lying: How can reason prevail unless words connect to reality? How can we argue against people who will spread fictions, if serviceable to them, without a qualm?

Illiberals and anti-liberals, on the other hand, appreciate the dark energy of human irrationality—not merely as a fact of our nature to be negotiated, but as a potent political resource. People do not think; they feel. They do not believe what is true; they regard as true that which they wish to believe. A lie that affirms us will gain more credence than a truth that challenges us. That’s the foundational insight on which Trump built his business career. It’s the insight on which Trump’s supporters built first their campaign for president and now their presidency itself." 
Facebook Tamped Down on Hoax Sites, But Polarization Thrives | Bloomberg

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