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Showing posts from April, 2017

Why has outrage come to dominate platforms like Twitter?

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This question was posted on twitter by Sarah Britten Pillay. I shall try to answer that here, or at least address some of the topics surrounding this notion.

What makes a platform like Twitter more outrageous than the next? A brief summary of my thoughts on the topic: It would be interesting to contrive some outrage meter that could detect outrage levels in a piece of text.Plenty if not most of social media outrage is manufactured as a distraction.Outrage that isn't manufactured can be analysed by means of kin selection concepts from biology.If you aren't entirely sold on the sociobiology idea, then the balance of risk and incentive from game theory can also shed some light on the rationale behind social media outrage. Outrage levels are too damn high I do agree that social media platforms tend to be filled with more outrage than others, but as far as I know there is no means of detecting or measuring outrage. The need exists for some outrage quotient or some method of classify…

Shelley Garland: a case study of post truth media

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This past week saw a prank of Sokal Affair proportions, only within the context of our own ailing media. You can read the entire Shelly Garland saga here, and I would be completely over it by now if it weren't for the fact that the Huffington Post tried to wiggle their way out of this one by means of Spanish Inquisition.



Background to the Shelly Garland saga A blogger passed around some bait in order to expose the hypocrisy of those custodians of ethical journalism who had been warning us about fake news, post truth media, alternative facts and a whole new basket of deplorables. It was a meticulously crafted prank.

To their credit, the Daily Maverick saw the Shelly Garland bait for the tripe that it is, and said take this cup away from me. Which is to say they had an editor who wasn't asleep at the wheel and just performed some rudimentary editing. Also known as doing your job.

The local chapter of the Huffington Post fell for the prank hook, line and sinker. Which shouldn'…