for W3c validation
Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive.
Social media: influencers, networks and trolling for truth
Anne says: Over the last couple of weeks, Jakkii and I have reviewed the issues raised in the documentary, The Social Dilemma. In contrast, to broaden the discussion, it was through the lens of these reviews that I found these two articles from Scientific American valuable to provide potential understanding for ways to move forward. I would recommend that you start with Trolling for Truth on Social Media. This article starts with some history into the background of online activism, where the protagonists were using misinformation on fake websites to mislead people (successfully), journalists and other companies in the late 1990s. The author, Joan Donovan, weaves the story through to the current times and use of social media, highlighting how various groups have taken advantage and further enabled the exploitation of behaviours, while no one reigned it in.
And now, we’re in a state of overload, misinformation, fake news, interference, hacking, algorithms and media manipulation. But all is not lost – in fact, the last paragraphs of this article highlight the potential ways forward. Donovan calls out the technology companies as having been reticent for their handling of the “information wars” and draws attention to the need for design justice, a reference to a book from Sasha Costanza-Chock of MIT that states the process of design must adhere to an ethic of “nothing about us without us.” It’s not just the technology companies who need to be held to account, but it’s also up to a broad range of stakeholders to get involved in the redesign of platforms.
An extension of the concepts presented in the first article, the second, Why Social Media Makes Us More Polarized and How to Fix It, reveals some results from research into the impact of social media on opinions. Frequently criticised for creating and fuelling echo chambers of information, reinforcing particular groups of opinions and confirmation bias, the researchers constructed experiments with polarising topics and groups of people. They established a number of rounds of discussions, to allow people to talk through the issues, online in social networks. The results were not what they expected, when people discussed their views with likeminded people, their views become less polarised.
So what just happened? The expectation was that the echo chamber effect would reconfirm their views and even strengthen them. Through the study of network dynamics, they have identified that “influencers” with their breadth of connections, have a disproportionate level of influence over their connections. The nature of social media networks and the rise of influencers have exaggerated the effects, while the research groups were shaped in a more “egalitarian network”. Their conclusions are important:
This feature of social media is one of the main reasons why misinformation and fake news has become so pervasive. In centralized networks, biased influencers have a disproportionate impact on their community—enabling small rumors and suppositions to become amplified into widespread misconceptions and false beliefs.”
Two articles underscoring how people’s behaviour has been amplified through social media platforms, but with the insights from these articles, comes ways of addressing the future design of how we want to interact and use social media in the future.
Top Strategic Tech Trends for 2021
Jakkii says: Is it just me or does it not feel like it’s almost November?? 2020 has been the most bizarre year for the perception of time. But, very close to November it actually is, and so the end of 2020 is finally in sight – which means, apparently, it’s already time for ‘trends for 2021’ type articles to start popping up here and there.
The first cab off the rank (as far as I have seen) is Gartner, who this week have released their ‘top strategic tech trends for 2021’ eBook. There are nine key trends they’ve identified:
- Internet of Behaviours
- Total Experience
- Privacy-Enhancing Computation
- Distributed Cloud
- Anywhere Operations
- Cybersecurity Mesh
- Intelligent Composable Business
- AI Engineering
While we aren’t all tech people ourselves, let alone working in IT, it’s always good to have an eye on trends and the types of things that shape our world, our organisations and our lives as employees and consumers. A few of the trends are a bit jargony, but they give a clear explanation of what these are in the article linked below, so you can get a brief high-level understanding of each without needing to download the eBook (unless you want to).
Have you seen other trends articles starting to pop up? Let us know so we can check them out – and perhaps include them in a future Friday Fave!
Around the house
good evening to none of you, only to this beaver who’s determined to build little dams around the house pic.twitter.com/g1Q7t20KeX
— Virginia K. Smith (@vksmith) October 20, 2020
Jakkii says: Depending where you’re reading this from, you might be enjoying low-level restrictions, close to having restrictions eased, or you might be somewhere that restrictions and lockdowns are being put back into place, like in the UK where people are being told to prepare for a ‘digital Christmas’. Whatever level you’re at this week, we hope you’re keeping safe and sane – and here are a few things to watch, read and do from home to help you stay that way!
- Stuck inside with an earworm you can’t place? Now you can hum the tune to Google to identify it
- Find out what words were added to the dictionary the year you were born
- Binge episodes of Worth It on YouTube
- Play the world’s dumbest game
- Squish the Earth
- Had a bit too much caffeine? Here’s some ways to counteract the effects
- Listen to one of these 21 best daily podcasts for your morning routine
- Take a sneak peek inside the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo
- Prepare to get spooky with some ways to celebrate Halloween at home
Your regular reminder that a corgi crossed with any other breed just ends up looking like a corgi disguised as the other dog.
— 🦇🎃 spookachu 🎃👻 (@soapachu) October 17, 2020
I understand when children are twins, but adults????
— broti gupta (@BrotiGupta) October 8, 2020
My husband has been working from home for 6 weeks. I’ve learned that he basically gets paid to be in meetings. Speak in meetings, meet with other people about their last meeting, and have meetings to plan for the next meeting. 😬🥱😧
— Adrienne Barnes (@AdrienneNakohl) May 5, 2020
i laugh at my own jokes bc i am my target audience. y’all just happen to be there fr
— እምነተ (@emnetee) October 12, 2020
US Election Friday Five
My dog has been punished for peeing on the carpet 65 times, my wife zero https://t.co/nCRXOhdulj
— Dennis DiClaudio Meets the Wolfman (@dennisdiclaudio) October 20, 2020
- For Trump’s ‘rigged’ election claims, an online megaphone awaits
- Facebook and Twitter are still tinkering with democracy
- How to retweet using Twitter’s new temporary format; and adds prompts, hashtags, and emoji to promote early voting
- Facebook says it rejected 2.2m ads for breaking political campaigning rules
- AOC, Ilhan Omar draw 400,000 to Twitch stream to get out the vote
Misinformation Friday Five
- How to manage misinformation in online communities
- The problem of free speech in an age of disinformation
- When Gen Z is the source of the misinformation it consumes
- TikTok expands hate speech ban
- Podcast: The information apocalypse
COVID-19 Friday Five
My youngest threw a tantrum about Zoom school this morning, ran up to her room, slammed the door and drew this. pic.twitter.com/T4RfMQOZeW
— Adam Lisberg (@adamlisberg) October 22, 2020
- Internet freedom has taken a hit during the pandemic (and how your browser can make your online life a little more private)
- COVID-19 will probably become endemic – here’s what that means
- We may never know the full story of COVID-19
- How do pandemics end? In different ways, but it’s never quick and never neat
- Wikipedia and the WHO join forces to combat COVID misinformation
Work Friday Five
I am sorry but I should not be ashamed for not having the perfect set up or a room that can solely be used for meetings/interviews.
You are interviewing me, not my lack of economic resources or disadvantaged status.
— Elizabeth Soto (@easmbr) October 10, 2020
- This is what the co-founder of LinkedIn says about the future of work
- Without an office, what defines a workplace?
- Remote work: what we’ve lost and what we’ve gained
- Give these apps some notes and they’ll write emails for you
- Google Sheets’ new Smart Autofill will save you precious time entering data
Tech Friday Five
- The [US] federal government just took a big step toward regulating Big Tech (and who regulates social media?)
- Microsoft’s image-captioning AI is pretty darn good at describing pictures like a human
- World’s fastest AI supercomputer is coming to Italy
- Software developers might be obsolete by 2030
- Activists turn facial recognition tools against the police
Social Media Friday Five
- Facebook manipulated the news you see to appease Republicans, insiders say
- Influencers’ next frontier: their own live shopping channels
- More than 50% of humans in the world use social media — here’s what you need to know
- If Facebook and Google limit services in Australia, could the ABC run a social network? And from The Conversation: this is misguided. With what money?
- Q&A panel tackles the Facebook question that no one can figure out
Sydney Business Insights – The Future This Week Podcast
This week: we finally discuss gene editing and CRISPR, as the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes the women behind its development.
Sandra Peter (Sydney Business Insights) and Kai Riemer (Digital Disruption Research Group) meet once a week to put their own spin on news that is impacting the future of business in The Future, This Week.
The stories this week
Other stories we bring up