[The new media ecosystem] means everything is true and nothing is true. An explanation of climate change from a Nobel Prize-winning physicist looks exactly the same on your Facebook page as the denial of climate change by somebody on the Koch brothers’ payroll. And the capacity to disseminate misinformation, wild conspiracy theories, to paint the opposition in wildly negative light without any rebuttal—that has accelerated in ways that much more sharply polarize the electorate and make it very difficult to have a common conversation.
We’re creating a world of dummies. Angry dummies who feel they have the right, the authority and the need not only to comment on everything, but to make sure their voice is heard above the rest, and to drag down any opposing views through personal attacks, loud repetition and confrontation.
I heard the explosion, then went to the deli.
The more chaotic and unstructured the world of online live video becomes, the more important the curator, analyst or honest broker of information can be.
In that moment, Facebook was Reynolds’ only recourse. And that’s scary. Because no matter how much social media has done to raise public awareness about these tragedies, it still falls so short. Comments and posts and shares and retweets couldn’t come to the rescue when Reynolds and Castile needed it most. And virality alone isn’t admissible in court. As Castile lay dying, he and his family could not rely on anything else. Social media was all they had, and all that social media could offer them was an outlet for outrage, fear, and mourning.
…If fake, manipulated or mendacious news websites are backed up by mobs of Internet trolls; then conspiracy theories, whether of the far left or far right, will soon have the same weight as reality. Politicians who lie will be backed by a claque of supporters.
More than 1,000 American rabbis have signed a joint letter welcoming refugees and noting a parallel to the late 1930s, when the United States barred most Jewish refugees. The letter noted that refugees are fleeing persecution, not committing it.
‘In 1939, our country could not tell the difference between an actual enemy and the victims of an enemy,’ the rabbis wrote. ‘In 2015, let us not make the same mistake.’
In international relations, extremists on one side empower extremists on the other side. ISIS empowers Trump, who inadvertently empowers ISIS. He’s not confronting a national security threat; he’s creating one.
The underground lifeline should be open.