Paris Tag

 

Byrony Gordon of the Telegraph wrote in frustration this week about how social media is turning us into idiots. She chronicles several tweets and trends across social media in the aftermath of the attacks on Paris as evidence that, “…social media hasn’t just turned people stupid – it has also turned whole organisations into unthinking idiots whose knee jerk reaction in such situations is not to uncover the truth but get hits.” Gordon’s proclamation flies directly in the face of James Surowiecki’s notion of the scientifically-based “wisdom of crowds.” Surowiecki draws upon science-based analysis drawn from research on the Central Limits Theorem, which explains how large probability samples produce great estimates of phenomena in the real world. Gordon’s analysis draws conclusions from a far less systematically drawn sample. Her sample suggests that people feel less safe after the recent attacks in Paris, despite the reality that attacks like these have been happening around the world for a long time. Her analysis highlights specific examples of idiocy among the world of tweets and wall posts, such as the claim that the Eiffel Tower went dark for the first time since 1889 (a preposterous claim, for sure) and the massive number of…

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Social Advocacy & Politics, Social Media Read More

Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have all added or turned on features in the wake of the Paris attacks this past Friday, November 13. These features incorporate many of the behavioral uses of these platforms into their code. For example, Facebook turned on its “Safety Check” feature, where people can mark on their profile that they are ok instead of just posting something to your wall. The new app creates a featured post for your profile that says you are safe in the midst of a crisis or disaster. Like more common features on other social networks (e.g. @mentions, hashtags and the Quote Tweet functions on Twitter), these built in features are inspired by the ways people were using the platforms already. These new features typically make using the social networks easier for users and often help campaign organizers, too, but not always. And the new tools are not always received in the most positive light. For example, the Facebook Safety Check feature was not turned on for all recent crisis events, prompting criticisms by activists that Facebook was showing a bias turning it on for Paris, but not for attacks happening in other parts of the world. Read the rest of…

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Social Advocacy & Politics, Social Media Read More