Israel, Gaza, War and Data
Social networks and the art of personalizing propaganda
This is a fascinating look at social media, its use, and its impact on what we see and what we think. It’s also a good insight into how we ‘share’ and what we’re shown is affecting the dynamic of issues like this right across the world.
Please visit the original story site and see the whole article, it’s worth a look.
“Not only is there much more media produced, but it is coming at us at a faster pace, from many more sources. As we construct our online profiles based on what we already know, what we’re interested in, and what we’re recommended, social networks are perfectly designed to reinforce our existing beliefs. Personalized spaces, optimized for engagement, prioritize content that is likely to generate more traffic; the more we click, share, like, the higher engagement tracked on the service. Content that makes us uncomfortable, is filtered out.”
“If you’re rooting for Israel, you might have seen videos of rocket launches by Hamas adjacent to Shifa Hospital. Alternatively, if you’re pro-Palestinian, you might have seen the following report on an alleged IDF sniper who admitted (on Instagram) to murdering 13 Gazan children. Israelis and their proponents are likely to see IDF videos such as this onedetailing arms and tunnels found within mosques passed around in their social media feeds, while Palestinian groups are likely to pass aroundimages displaying the sheer destruction caused by IDF forces to Gazan mosques. One side sees videos of rockets intercepted in the Tel-Aviv skies, and other sees the lethal aftermath of a missile attack on a Gazan neighbourhood.
The better we get at modelling user preferences, the more accurately we construct recommendation engines that fully capture user attention. In a way, we are building personalized propaganda engines that feeds users content which makes them feel good and throws away the uncomfortable bits.”
Original story – click here
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