That WSJ article on teen girls and Instagram is behind a paywall, which is a shame because it’s an important story.

If you can find a way to access it, you should. particularly if you have kids. This is the best synopsis of the highlights I’ve found.
As someone who studies in this area I’m going to tell you I will work hard to dissuade my kids from Facebook-run platforms as they age into social platform use. It’s more than just the settings and downhill effects. I don’t trust the company itself.
The way I’d describe Facebook right now is:

1. It’s created a biz model that is bringing in gobs of revenue for things that are bad for the social fabric.

2. Its publicly stated ideals are at odds with what brings in ad dollars. Change would require leaving money on the table.
3. And though I’ve never met him, I’ve heard Zuck speak enough to not think of him as intellectually curious about any of this. His rationale on free speech vs. community good is a nightmarish thicket, like what a bot would spit out once you fed it a bunch of libertarian slogans.
I know a lot of people who work at Facebook, who actually care a lot about these issues. There just seems to be a wall when it comes to the company challenging itself to be better. This story is an example. There are people internally pointing all this stuff out.
Some of this was documented in “An Ugly Truth” and the story is familiar to the one linked upthread. Internal research says something the public line says something different. Image first.
Maybe someday they’ll get new leadership that can reverse the worst of this. But that leaving money on the table thing is going to be a huge roadblock. Facebook has to decide whether it wants actually be in the business of bringing people together and promoting community.

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More from @JeremyLittau

11 Sep
A student shared this with me, and I’ll share with you. A story about teens in an online community grappling with 9/11 and the aftermath. Just a lovely read about a group that came of age in the shadow of tragedy and the drumbeat for vengeance.…
It started maybe 5-6 years ago, but these types of 9/11 stories are the only ones I read. Most of what gets put out there is rehash, feels exploitative.

The memory of how we dealt with it and what we became individually and collectively, those are rare but worth my time.
The story of the 20 years past 9/11 is how we handled the aftermath. The immediate and the long-term. How we reacted, then how we changed (or didn’t) as the war became perpetual. We need a lot more stories like this, that don’t treat us as stuck in a singular moment.
Read 6 tweets
10 Sep
Thread here. I’ll add two thoughts:

1. If you’re an experienced pro thinking of an M.A. as a path to teaching, I tell people all the time you can do it for little to no cost, certainly not $70K. Takes some flexibility and planning, but absolutely can be done.

And second ….
2. Rec in Bryan’s tweet about media studies is good. I’d fuse that with some entrepreneurship if the degree would be for practical use at first. Legacy local news pay is bad but there are huge startup opportunities. You need biz skills but also conceptual/sociological background.
I say this b/c when I talk to people running successful startups, they often talk about reassessing community info needs and impact as key. Media studies training exposes you to the problems of news and underserved groups. You rethink the news itself, which helps a great deal.
Read 6 tweets
5 Sep
I love these pieces that want to pretend like “normal” is something we can get back to. I miss going out! I also don’t want to have to take my young kids to the ER because society has decided they aren’t worth protecting with the same care we gave Boomers.

This. 👇🏻
<whispers into the void> We aren’t going back to normal, ever. We are realizing there is a new normal and some people just haven’t caught up to that yet.
A bunch of us have had to reinvent play to stay home and keep the kids from going stir crazy. You want me to just go back to paying $100 for a family trip to the movies or $250 for a ballgame? lol ok
Read 5 tweets
4 Sep
An observation I’d make RE distressed posts from educator friends all over the country about COVID case rates:

Procedures and comms create incentives as side effects. If policy leaves students with no guidance on what happens with a positive test, they won’t get tested.
One worry about the “we’re open and in person come hell or high water” vibe universities gave off all spring/summer to make sure there were butts in seats is that students see that as leadership being inflexibile toward going remote if cases skyrocket. Mine have said as much.
No perceived room for flexibility on going remote leaves policy on makeup work and missed class to decisions of individual professors. And while many of us are reasonable (or grew reasonable during last year’s remote shift), that is different than uniform policy.
Read 13 tweets
2 Sep
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about reporting like this (reporting on dangerous quack medicine, or ICU’d antivaxxers who have regrets).

The problem is the audience who needs this info doesn’t trust the source. That’s a likely reason they fall for it.

So do these stories help?
There is potentially a search engine effect for those infoseeking on Google. That’s the best I can do in terms of thinking how they could convince someone long term.

Preaching to the choir is the term for what more likely is going on here.
Think about the litany of stories like this, how splintered they are across media choice even if we did think Google effects. To get upranked they need serious traction.

Meanwhile a hoax networks are often inhered and self-referential. Without active measures, that drives rank.
Read 7 tweets
28 Aug
One of the frustrating things about the way news orgs decide to peddle junk food instead of something of value is we end up with stories like this. Entirely about a quote controversy but miss the big story lurking behind the quote.

Cover. This. Like. A. Religion. News. Story.
This is just a setup for dunk quote tweets.

While what Reeves is saying isn’t exactly how others would, his point of view isn’t particularly out of step with conservative Christianity in the U.S.

A lot of Evangelicals, vaxxed and not, staying home and not, have this view.
Even if his view is anathema to yours (and mine), there’s a larger social fabric story here that we miss when the controversy is the story. I know a lot of vaxxed Evangelicals who talk like this. Hell, I was *raised* in this. “To die is gain.” Heard that all the time in church.
Read 9 tweets

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