Wrote this in 2016, thinking about it today. I know it wasn't only Facebook, but I do remember *many* people telling me worrying about conspiracy theory was a "moral panic" and that people don't change behavior based on facts anyway. qz.com/843228/faceboo…
People don't change behavior based on facts, but people *do* change behavior based on *events*, and what Facebook and other platforms have provided is an endless stream of fakery which is felt as real events by a certain population.
If you were affected by watching the Twin Towers fall and think people who have discovered that Hollywood elites are running a pedophilia ring and are literally making coded jokes about it on the Oscars are *not* affected by that, I'm sorry, but the burden of proof is on you.

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More from @holden

20 Jul
I am reading through the free responses to a short survey we sent out to students on preferences for fall delivery. It's honestly fascinating and a bit overwhelming.
I made my comments this morning before I saw this, but the comments hold -- there's no consensus here, just two very different positions which are both held with a lot of conviction. A LOT of conviction.
Overall though there are far more students worrying about having to come to campus than worrying about losing face-to-face. But I have to say, both sides of this issue are very well expressed by students. They have been thinking about this deeply and sincerely.
Read 7 tweets
19 Jul
One of the things going on re: Portland right now is the right is directly pipelining massive levels of disinformation about protestors from Ngo etc into Fox News/Trump admin while some on the left are still quibbling over whether what's going on really constitutes kidnapping.
I don't know what you do about this asymmetry. But I'd humbly suggest that both facts and narrative matter, and rhetorical analogies are not scientific pronouncements, but narratological lenses through which to view a quickly evolving situation.
There are good analogies and bad analogies, and as there's more information that will become apparent. People should modify their views as that happens.
Read 9 tweets
15 Jul
If you want to understand what's going on this week with Weiss and Sullivan, etc, please for the love of god don't read a book on "illiberalism", read Stahl's Right Moves. Here's why.
What Stahl argues (I'd go as far to say demonstrates) in right moves is what the Right is the 70s advanced as a "marketplace of ideas" was never a marketplace, but a sort of public subsidy for ideas on the right.
The idea was no matter how much one "side" of an issue might have scientists or policy makers or other experts behind it, you had to give the other "side" equal time. One policy think tank might have the world's best minds and the other a bunch of political hacks, but equal time!
Read 7 tweets
30 May
Good story from local press supporting idea that both white chaos tourists and white supremacists are involved in fueling flames literal and figurative. Difficult thing to talk about in helpful ways, but if you want to do it start by reading local press mprnews.org/story/2020/05/…
It's really hard to talk about this in helpful ways though. People want it to be all one thing. And authoritarians *love* the trope of outside agitators because it's a license to shoot. There are always a variety of actors, and people don't take the time to make distinctions.
A couple points I guess. First "outside agitators" has been used for decades (centuries?) as a delegitimization tactic. So be aware of that.
Read 7 tweets
7 Apr
Once you realize that K12 students are learning deeper lessons by living through this pandemic than they would in school, you realize the real issue is that what they learn won't *differentiate* them from one another and that is many parents' greatest fear.
Sorry I know this might sound glib and hippy-dippy. I get that the entire architecture doesn't work if kids aren't differentiated, that it relies on the fact that some kids take AP and some don't, some get 2s and some get 4s.
But if we want to make that argument, then fess up to it and make it. Because saying kids are losing learning time is ridiculous.
Read 5 tweets

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