If Facebook was a tool for confirmation bias, that would kind of suck. It would. But that is not the claim. The claim is that Facebook is quite literally training us to be conspiracy theorists. And given the history of what happens when conspiracy theory and white supremacy mix, that should scare the hell out of you. I’m petrified. Mark Zuckerberg should be too.
Mike Caulfield explains the dangers of fake news and the way in which the repetition and familiarity with such lies can lead to an odd sense of truth.
People exposed themselves to Facebook multiple times a day, every single day, seeing headlines making all sorts of crazy claims, and filed them in their famil-o-meter for future reference.
As I say — it’s the internet — you’re not stuck with that one story that comes to you. By going out and actively choosing a better story you will not only filter out false stories but also see the variety of ways an event is being covered.
Would boyd’s cognitive strength training exercises have helped here? No. Turning inwards to psychology, rather outwards to the political context, is precisely what gives us ‘lone wolf’ analyses of white supremacy.
Instead Doxtdator suggests considering the technical infrastructure. Interestingly, she does touch on platforms in the Q&A at the end:
One of the things that is funny is that these technologies get designed for a very particular idea of what they could be used for and then they twist in different ways.source
The original text that the keynote was based on can be found here, while a response to some of the criticism can be found here.