Yesterday a friend of mine shared the Carole Cadwalladr TED talk “Facebook’s role in Brexit – and the threat to democracy” in which she explains how she led an Observer newspaper investigation into the role Facebook played in the Brexit and Trump elections. The talk is absolutely jaw-dropping, so if you haven’t seen it yet then watch it now, because I’m going to discuss it with spoilers.
To summarize: People with a lot of money paid Cambridge Analytica to use Facebook to spread carefully targeted misinformation (and outright lies, and hate speech) with the specific aim of influencing the result of the UK Brexit election as a testing ground for technology that they then deployed in the US election of Donald Trump. And so as Cadwalladr says:
Earlier this week Jonathon Pie shared this video, which I agree with, so I shared on Facebook:
It’s a bit of a rant, but I think he makes some very valid points, notwithstanding his style.
I do need to point out that when he says “if you feel my mansplaining is triggering you can fuck off” he is falling into the very trap – insulting people – that he urges the Left to avoid. I wonder if that is why some people are rejecting his message -this morning my Facebook feed told me that one of my friends had liked this post:
I think this tweet/share is a mis-comprehension of what Pie is saying. He’s not saying respect other people’s opinions, he’s saying: respect their right to hold those opinions. Because at the moment those opinions, those voices, are being SILENCED: removed from the forum of public debate. This is particularly true in the media: Pie is spot-on that the Left-leaning media has demonized the expression of Right-leaning sentiment, to the extent that people have stopped saying it…. but then vote the way they really feel. “Do the Left need to listen to the Right?” の続きを読む
In the UK (if it’s still appropriate to call it that…..) there’s an incredible amount of bad feeling, division, distrust, resentment and anger going on right now, and when people are this angry at each other they tend to focus on their differences (which they use as insults to yell at each other). I’d like to suggest that, understandable though this anger and shouting is, it would be more useful to try to find something that both Leavers and Remainers can agree on. “the one thing both sides can agree on” の続きを読む
A simplistic view of democratic process is that it is about voting for what you want, but in reality democratic decision-making is far more complex: it’s about dialogue, and negotiation, and compromises both sides can live with. This is because democracy is founded on the idea that everybody has a valid perspective and therefore should have the right to contribute to decision-making – the aim then becomes a solution or compromise that satisfies as many of the interested parties as is realistically possible without compromising the central principle of mutual respect. “The Brexit debate is no longer democratic” の続きを読む