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geordief

The echo chamber on the internet.

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I have been hearing about this phenomenon for some time and wonder if is partly to blame for exacerbating divisions in society.

 

So (a) How important an effect is it ?

 

(b) Can it be minimized by some technological fix? Other ways?

 

© Does anyone think it is no big deal?

Edited by geordief

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I have been hearing about this phenomenon for some time and wonder if is partly to blame for exacerbating divisions in society.

 

So (a) How important an effect is it ?

 

(b) Can it be minimized by some technological fix? Other ways?

 

© Does anyone think it is no big deal?

Hello....... :-(^_^

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Hello...

Hello...

Hello...

 

Maybe I was being Narcissistic....

 

 

Seriously, I think it is a big problem. Not new ,but is it being exacerbated by the internet algorithms telling us and reinforcing our ideas of who we are?

 

Is tribal mentality getting institutionalised in the digital age?

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Maybe I was being Narcissistic....

 

 

Seriously, I think it is a big problem. Not new ,but is it being exacerbated by the internet algorithms telling us and reinforcing our ideas of who we are?

 

Is tribal mentality getting institutionalised in the digital age?

 

 

I am a very left wing atheist London-based shipping man - I regularly communicate with rightwing americans, libertarian australians, indian relgious-devotees, polish scientists, belgian students and expats, and all other sorts via this forum. Without the internet my daily conversations would be limited to other london shipping men, family and a few friends with the same thoughts, motivations and prejudices.

 

Whilst the internet can lead to self-reinforcement it is also a much larger base of perspectives than you can get anywhere else; this is much more likely to create variety than uniformity

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I had to look it up - are you referring to the phenominum where you state an opinion and it gets reinforced by many others so you believe you are right, where as a person with the opposing view will also get the same confirmation of their view from different people and neither will get to see what the other said so they both end up thinking they are right? I think it is more of a social media thing and about who your circle of friends are, maybe.

 

The way I have seen this actually work is, re brexit, for example... my parents voted for brexit, 'everyone' they know voted for it and they are all so pleased about it and see it as a real positive thing, still. They are shocked to find out that there are actually people out there that even consider a remain vote. Most of my mates voted to remain (as did I), they don't know anyone who voted out and see the whole thing as a massive disaster and still do. The leave camp are getting positive reinforcements from each other as to the current situation and believe it is all OK and the future is rosey, whereas the remain group see nothing but misery ahead.

 

Is this what you mean?

 

(cross posting with Imat - kinda answers my question - it is the phenomenon I described that you are on about)

Edited by DrP

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I had to look it up - are you referring to the phenominum where you state an opinion and it gets reinforced by many others so you believe you are right, where as a person with the opposing view will also get the same confirmation of their view from different people and neither will get to see what the other said so they both end up thinking they are right? I think it is more of a social media thing and about who your circle of friends are, maybe.

 

The way I have seen this actually work is, re brexit, for example... my parents voted for brexit, 'everyone' they know voted for it and they are all so pleased about it and see it as a real positive thing, still. They are shocked to find out that there are actually people out there that even consider a remain vote. Most of my mates voted to remain (as did I), they don't know anyone who voted out and see the whole thing as a massive disaster and still do. The leave camp are getting positive reinforcements from each other as to the current situation and believe it is all OK and the future is rosey, whereas the remain group see nothing but misery ahead.

 

Is this what you mean?

Sadly,yes.

 

I understand (I am not a user apart from this kind of a forum) that social media (esp Facebook) feeds users with "information" that it (the algorithm) judges will appeal to them .

 

On the other hand it is a weakness in the human psyche (in my opinion) to wish to be validated even when this is not a rigorous process (we cannot handle the psychological truth and the temptation is to live in cotton wool)

 

"Living is easy ,with eyes closed,misunderstanding all you see" (see ,I have fallen into the trap :-( )

 

 

I am a very left wing atheist London-based shipping man - I regularly communicate with rightwing americans, libertarian australians, indian relgious-devotees, polish scientists, belgian students and expats, and all other sorts via this forum. Without the internet my daily conversations would be limited to other london shipping men, family and a few friends with the same thoughts, motivations and prejudices.

 

Whilst the internet can lead to self-reinforcement it is also a much larger base of perspectives than you can get anywhere else; this is much more likely to create variety than uniformity

Thanks. I hope your experience carries weight in the overall scheme.

 

Edit: I just realized I was largely excluding this kind of a (human moderated) forum from this phenomenon. rIghtly or wrongly I consider it to be more benign than those characterized by what I have understood to be the mo of Facebook and similar social media sites

Edited by geordief

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Everyone has there on set of "facts" they choose to believe. It is easy to engross oneself in news which reports only what you want. If you don't believe in climate change, no problem, they are plenty of pseudo "official" news organizations who will run anti climate change research for you. News media is not obligated to be accurate. It is just a business.

 

"To attract people, to win over people to that which I have realised as being true, that is called propaganda. In the beginning there is the understanding, this understanding uses propaganda as a tool to find those men, that shall turn understanding into politics. Success is the important thing. Propaganda is not a matter for average minds, but rather a matter for practitioners. It is not supposed to be lovely or theoretically correct. I do not care if I give wonderful, aesthetically elegant speeches, or speak so that women cry. The point of a political speech is to persuade people of what we think right. I speak differently in the provinces than I do in Berlin, and when I speak in Bayreuth, I say different things from what I say in the Pharus Hall. That is a matter of practice, not of theory. We do not want to be a movement of a few straw brains, but rather a movement that can conquer the broad masses. Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths. Those are found in other circumstances, I find them when thinking at my desk, but not in the meeting hall."

 

- Joseph Goebbels the Propaganda Minister for Nazi Germany

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News media is not obligated to be accurate. It is just a business.

It may not be operated under those formal requirements but it is a human activity and honesty /truthfullness is a principle which is widely acknowledged across societies

 

This should (and likely does) permeate all industries as a matter of course.

 

It is not the only principle that operates in human affairs and your Goebell's quote is sadly apposite.

 

Another quote is that “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” as well as that one about "good men doing nothing.."

 

I feel I am looking into a can of worms that I am not equipped to flesh out, but even so the internet may be one of the most powerful tools developed to date and in the wrong (or nobody's ) hands it surely has the potential to do untold harm without it being at first apparent.

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It is difficult though. The astrophysicist Katie Mack recently got a lot of criticism on Twitter for saying it is OK to block people when you get sick of their constant hatred and bile. She was accused of encouraging an echo chamber. Does being open to other ideas mean you have to listen to hate speech and threats of violence?

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It is difficult though. The astrophysicist Katie Mack recently got a lot of criticism on Twitter for saying it is OK to block people when you get sick of their constant hatred and bile. She was accused of encouraging an echo chamber. Does being open to other ideas mean you have to listen to hate speech and threats of violence?

Yes ,difficult and convoluted but does a hands off approach to social media exacerbate the problem?

 

Should/could unmoderated sites be outlawed?

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I have been hearing about this phenomenon for some time and wonder if is partly to blame for exacerbating divisions in society.

 

So (a) How important an effect is it ?

 

(b) Can it be minimized by some technological fix? Other ways?

 

© Does anyone think it is no big deal?

 

To be fair, the effects was always there, but mostly locally. I.e. unless being exposed to new experiences there is a good chance that one surrounds oneself or gets surrounded with light-minded people (which includes family). There was never a fix other than getting out into the world and see things for oneself. The main issue is that technology helps you to stay in your bubble that you grew up in even if you are actually in a place where you could make new experiences (such as college).

 

There is the additional problem that much of the media consumption is partially monopolized by few providers (such as facebook) which normalizes fake news. There is no real fix that I can think of. After all, moderation does not mean that someone is doing fact-checking.

The only thing I can think of is that one has to teach critical media consumption early on in school, especially since a recent study found those skills severely lacking in kids.

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To be fair, the effects was always there, but mostly locally. I.e. unless being exposed to new experiences there is a good chance that one surrounds oneself or gets surrounded with light-minded people (which includes family). There was never a fix other than getting out into the world and see things for oneself. The main issue is that technology helps you to stay in your bubble that you grew up in even if you are actually in a place where you could make new experiences (such as college).

 

There is the additional problem that much of the media consumption is partially monopolized by few providers (such as facebook) which normalizes fake news. There is no real fix that I can think of. After all, moderation does not mean that someone is doing fact-checking.

The only thing I can think of is that one has to teach critical media consumption early on in school, especially since a recent study found those skills severely lacking in kids.

It would be helpful if there could be found some correlations between being "media savvy" and an individual's (or a group's) economic success.

 

The internet should be a wonderful tool for expanding knowledge.

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To be fair, the effects was always there, but mostly locally. I.e. unless being exposed to new experiences there is a good chance that one surrounds oneself or gets surrounded with light-minded people (which includes family). There was never a fix other than getting out into the world and see things for oneself. The main issue is that technology helps you to stay in your bubble that you grew up in even if you are actually in a place where you could make new experiences (such as college).

 

There is the additional problem that much of the media consumption is partially monopolized by few providers (such as facebook) which normalizes fake news. There is no real fix that I can think of. After all, moderation does not mean that someone is doing fact-checking.

The only thing I can think of is that one has to teach critical media consumption early on in school, especially since a recent study found those skills severely lacking in kids.

The Milgram's Experiment of Obidence touched on this some. All if took to get average everday people to participate in torture was lab coats and the general impression that those instructing them were professionals/authorities on the matter. While it is showing up in social media today I think it has mostly always been the case. A large percentage of people simply feel (prospect the actions of others and copy) their way through life. The Asch Comformity experiments showed that the marjority of people, to various extents, knowing answered questions incorrect simply to conform with those around them.

 

Milgram's Experiment - https://nature.berkeley.edu/ucce50/ag-labor/7article/article35.htm

 

Asch Comfority - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asch_conformity_experiments

 

those who know to speak up must.I think what happens too often is that people feel it is more important to be polite than stand for or against things. A large percentage of people know climate change is real, know there is institutional racism in our criiminal justice system, know religion doesn't belong in biology class, and etc but don't want to fight. They (we) are willing to accept that our system calls for compromise so we must sit back and allow for others to speak. Meanwhile those who lie and abuse societies politeness do so enormous amount of energy because they understand they can influence the bar for compromise. Apathetic people who believe in evolution but are uncomfortable offending religious people, know climate change is happening but accept coal miners jobs are just as important, know that the claimed "freest" nation in the world shouldn't imprison record amounts of people but don't feel comfortable critcizing police or judges, and etc are all responsible. The majority of people all know and accept what they see being pushed the most strongly. People need to speak up for the truth even when socially inconvenient or else they are being complicit to the spread of misinformation.

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Confirmation bias is a well known effect. We naturally gravitate towards views that agree with us. We can see patterns where there aren't any. This is why research has to have so many checks and balances, combined with statistical analysis. Our "common sense" is often very innacurate. The next level up from that is motivated reasoning. In very basic terms, confirmation bias plus active dismissal of opposing information.

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Confirmation bias is a well known effect. We naturally gravitate towards views that agree with us. We can see patterns where there aren't any. This is why research has to have so many checks and balances, combined with statistical analysis. Our "common sense" is often very innacurate. The next level up from that is motivated reasoning. In very basic terms, confirmation bias plus active dismissal of opposing information.

There seems to be some agreement that what I have (unoriginally,as it happens -I heard the same idea expressed on the This Week programme on the BBC last night) brought up is not a new thing.

 

Is the internet magnifying this effect? Causing ,perhaps unnecessarily extra division or partitioning in society?

 

I seem to remember when the then new technology of satellite TV was being credited with circumventing the Iron Curtain.

Edited by geordief

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OK - Social expt. time!

 

All my Brext friends say they do not even know any remainers.... all my remain friends say they do not even know any brexiters.... time for an expt....

 

There is talk of a second vote - so I posted this on face book:-

 

"With the vote so close and the result so important to the future of our country and the world.... maybe a second round of voting just to make sure ain't a bad thing. Discuss..... (*Lights blue touch paper and stands well clear*)."

 

With a note underneith to say that I will not participate in the conversation.... hopefully the 2 camps can discuss it out... somehow though I feel it will either be totally ignored or start a flame war.. lol. Let's see.

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OK - Social expt. time!

 

All my Brext friends say they do not even know any remainers.... all my remain friends say they do not even know any brexiters.... time for an expt....

 

There is talk of a second vote - so I posted this on face book:-

 

"With the vote so close and the result so important to the future of our country and the world.... maybe a second round of voting just to make sure ain't a bad thing. Discuss..... (*Lights blue touch paper and stands well clear*)."

 

With a note underneith to say that I will not participate in the conversation.... hopefully the 2 camps can discuss it out... somehow though I feel it will either be totally ignored or start a flame war.. lol. Let's see.

I will be interested to hear the result of this.

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I will be interested to hear the result of this.

OK - I will post my findings in a day or two... I have a feeling it will be ignored though... Posts get overlooked in the sheer numbers of things that get posted on FB. I though it was a good idea though.

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Re the OP question - Before the internet I was unaware there were so many idiots in the world. Forewarned is forearmed.1

 

 

Note:

1. I believe this small post is so constructed to reinforce whatever opinion the reader may already have of me. Such skill, such self awareness!

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I will be interested to hear the result of this.

 

Hmm.. After an hour we have a couple from either side commenting... so far there is no discussion though - just statements and soapboxing, lol. I am hoping they will actually talk to each other.

 

Disclaimer... I do not want to highjack this thread. Maybe I should have started a new one, but it seems relevant to the OP.

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