When social media become weaponized
You probably have heard it from a few people, that social media is no good. I know that I have been beating those drums for a while now. I've been collecting stories, but its like I'm banging my head against a wall sometimes. One could say, oh let's legislate the internet. But these ideas can be very abstract and hard to legislate against.
Social media also leads to information bubbles. The information bubbles can devolve man back into their most tribalistic forms. Looks at what is going on in the United States. You are either with them or against them. These information bubbles along with search algorithms tend to tell the user that what they are doing is absolutely correct. If you think that Trump is being controlled by lizard people and your searches keep leading you down that path. You are will start to get these false-positive results that reinforce your beliefs. Look at 9/11 and the conspiracies that swirl around it. These information bubbles also have a direct correlation to terrorism and being able to recruit online. Unless this problem is fixed, and therein lies the problem. I feel that this will not get any better, and it has the possibility of leading the world of the rail.
When fake news kills: Lynchings in Mexico are linked to viral child-kidnap rumors
An enraged mob attacked Flores, 21, and his uncle, Alberto Flores Morales, 56, beating them before dousing them with gasoline and burning them alive on the street outside the police station here. The pair had been mistakenly suspected of child abduction, authorities said.
"It was like a great spell had overtaken the people," said Lidia Palacios, a handicrafts shopkeeper who witnessed the linchamiento, or lynching, as such mob killings are known in Mexico. "They were yelling, 'Kill them! Kill them!'"
The barbaric episode - reminiscent of mob killings in India fueled by viral messages - illustrates how in an era of proliferating smartphone use, rumors looped on social media and messaging platforms such as WhatsApp can generate hysteria and vigilante justice.
Rohingya Muslims, ethnic cleansing and social media
Rohingya Muslims make up a small minority of the population in the mostly Buddhist nation of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. They have long faced discrimination and repression, and have largely been denied citizenship by the government, although many families have lived in villages concentrated in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state for generations.
After a Rohingya militant group attacked police posts and an army base in August, killing 12 security force members, the military responded with a campaign of indiscriminate violence against the Rohingya population. Troops burned homes and villages to the ground, killing thousands of men, women and children in tactics widely condemned as ethnic cleansing.
"The clearest evidence is, would be the satellite imagery that shows 340 destroyed villages. Not houses -- villages," said David Mathieson, an independent analyst who has lived and worked in the region for years.
Over the last six months, nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled their homes, many with horrific memories of seeing loved ones slaughtered or of surviving gang rapes.
It's not just a campaign of silence -- it's one of systematic disinformation and persecution fueled by social media. In a tragic irony, some of the same digital tools the refugees consider a lifeline have been weaponized against them.
"Social media has been, I think, one of the most damaging aspects of this entire crisis," Mathieson said. "And I think people internationally need to realize that five years ago, it cost a couple hundred dollars to get a sim card. Not many people had phones. And so, what we've seen in the past three or four years is this country getting online, everyone having a cheap smartphone and access to Facebook. And so there's not the media literacy, there's not the kind of ability to understand this medium, and the limitations of online speech."
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