How Facebook and China Are Changing Your Internet

 

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‘You Are Being Brainwashed’

Here’s a thoughtful video from Rob Dial, with the message that “you are being brainwashed” by the media you consume, especially the negative crime news that makes you feel the world is an unsafe place, when in reality the world is physically safer than it has ever been.

And yet, instead of a blanket blaming of “the media,” I believe media consumers must become more selective and purposeful. Yes, if you eat a steady diet of junk food, you will probably become overweight or anemic — unhealthy. Your brain works the same way. If you consume a steady diet of junk media, you will become an airhead who believes things that aren’t true and can’t converse intelligently on the issues of the day. Choose media that informs, enlightens and challenges you to think.

My daily media diet from the US includes “All Things Considered” from National Public Radio, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.  Internationally, I read The Economist, peruse The (UAE) National, and Gulf News.

What does your daily media diet consist of?

To Tackle Prejudice, First Tackle Confirmation Bias

“Confirmation bias” is widespread. Indeed it is human to “look for, find, remember and share information that confirms the beliefs we already have, and the tendency to dismiss, ignore and forget information that contradicts those beliefs.” Confirmation bias is what spreads “propaganda and false or misleading claims among otherwise sensible and skeptical people.”

Here are examples of lies about Donald Trump that confirm what some people think they know about him, but in fact are not true. http://www.snopes.com/2017/07/12/trump-lies/

The Importance of Competition in the Marketplace of Ideas

Even America, which has a long history of freedom of speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution, is continuing to learn, or relearn, the importance of competition in the marketplace of ideas.

 

Students Take Exercises to Distinguish Real News from Fake News

The News Literacy Project helps students distinguish real news from fake news. Students in classrooms are doing exercises to determine real news from fake news, mostly from viral content spread on social media. Here’s the story from NPR.

Some politicians are attempting to delegitimize real news they don’t like that holds them accountable by labeling it “fake news.” A newspaper in Colorado is fighting back, and considers suing a politician for defaming its reputation. Click.

Power of Mainstream Media Declines

As the American media loses economic power, with diminished resources — traditional print and broadcast media are in a far more precarious position than they were in 1970 — their cultural and legal protections have weakened as well. The public’s confidence and good will have almost evaporated. Less than a third of Americans express trust and confidence in the mass media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly.” Politicians can bypass the mainstream media and communicate directly with the public through social media, Facebook and Twitter.

Two media lawyers explained in a NYT op-ed: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/opinion/dont-expect-the-first-amendment-to-protect-the-media.html?_r=0

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