[Das Geile Neue Internet 3-1-20] Taylor Fang über das Internet als psychosoziales Baukastensystem; Liu Cixins Wandering Earth und die junge Rechte in China; tödliche Impfgegnerkampagnen in Pakistan

Vor Weihnachten hatten Twitter und Facebook ein Netzwerk auf Fake-Accounts hochgenommen, die insgesamt einen Reach von 55 Millionen Accounts hatten. Es ging um „610 Facebook accounts, 89 Facebook Pages, 156 Groups and 72 Instagram accounts“, die mit StyleGAN erzeugte Profil-Pics aufwiesen („This person do not exist“ und so weiter). Mehr zur Analyse der Profile-Pics hier: Fake Faces: People Who Do Not Exist Invade Facebook To Influence 2020 Elections.

Das Netzwerk kam von der Epoch Media Group, einem Netzwerk von Pro-Trump-Medien mit dem Background der chinesischen Sekte Falun Gong. Hier der ganze Report: #OperationFFS: Fake Face Swarm – Facebook Takes Down Network Tied to Epoch Media Group That Used Mass AI-Generated Profiles.

Sehr guter Aufsatz der Schülerin Taylor Fang bei Technology Review über das Internet als psychosoziales Baukastensystem, in dem wir unterschiedliche Identitäten erschaffen, den verschiedenen Facetten unserer Persönlichkeit Ausdruck verleihen und mit den von uns gespielten sozialen Rollen jonglieren.

Teenagers are disparaged for not being “present.” Yet we find visibility in technology. Our selfies aren’t just pictures; they represent our ideas of self. Only through “reimagining” the selfie as a meaningful mode of self-representation can adults understand how and why teenagers use social media. To “reimagine” is the first step toward beginning to listen to teenagers’ voices.

Meaning—scary as it sounds—we have to start actually listening to the scruffy video-game-­hoarding teenage boys stuck in their basements. Because our search for creative self isn’t so different from previous generations’. To grow up with technology, as my generation has, is to constantly question the self, to split into multiplicities, to try to contain our own contradictions. In “Song of Myself,” Walt Whitman famously said that he contradicted himself. The self, he said, is large, and contains multitudes. But what is contemporary technology if not a mechanism for the containment of multitudes?

Anti-Fascists Are Waging a Cyber War — And They’re Winning – Inside the world of antifa researchers as they build an online army to battle far-right extremism: “When the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting happened, the second [the killer’s] name hit the news, I almost threw up,” Molly Conger recalled. “I remember thinking, ‘I’ve read his posts, under his real name, and I just moved on. You can’t tell the difference between shitposting trolls and mass murderers. They all talk the same.”

Killer content: disinformation campaign derails Pakistan’s national anti-polio drive – Misleading videos online provoked mass hysteria and attacks on health workers: The Express Tribune reported that the mass hysteria created by the campaign led to over 908,381 families refusing to vaccinate against polio. […]

Liu Cixins Wandering Earth und die junge Rechte in China: Wandering Earth: A Magic Mirror Reflecting the Monstrosity of the Prometheans and Young Cyber-Nationalists.

Yup: Digital connectivity has turned the “social factory” into a global battlefield: cyberwar increasingly takes the form of precisely targeted psychological warfare. The aim is not merely to deliver specific messages to manipulate specific individuals but also to create an increasingly paranoid enclosure in which no one knows what is going on around them. Dyer-Witheford and Matviyenko call this the “veritable fog machine” of digital war. Because of how capital has woven digital networks into everyday life, this fog can engulf any aspect of society or the economy and transform it into a battlefield.

Popdust über The Verges Terror Queue: This Content Is Dangerous: Trauma in the Age of YouTube: Google researchers are experimenting with using technological tools to ease moderators’ emotional and mental distress from watching the Internet’s most violent and abusive acts on a daily basis: They’re thinking of blurring out faces, editing videos into black and white, or changing the color of blood to green–which is fitting: blood the color of money.

Video-Anonymisierung mit Deepfake-Tech: This startup claims its deepfakes will protect your privacy

Social media and protest participation: Evidence from Russia: on average, a 10% increase in VK penetration leads to a 4 percentage point higher chance of a protest taking place and a 19% larger protest.

THE INVENTION OF “ETHICAL AI”: How Big Tech Manipulates Academia to Avoid Regulation

‘Virtue Signalling’ May Annoy Us. But Civilization Would Be Impossible Without It

‘Boomerspeak’ Is Now Available for Your Parodying Pleasure: The verbal stylings of the boomer generation—dot dot dots, repeated commas, mid-sentence caps—crystallized into a distinct genre this year.

Gerrymandering in Social Network-Strukturen: How social networks can be used to bias votes: Evidence is stacking up that a small number of strategically placed bots can influence the choices of undecided voters.

Political hashtags like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter make some people doubt the stories they’re attached to: “This is a load of crap on a number of levels.” “This article reads ‘FAKE NEWS.’” “I don’t believe this post is backed with any real knowledge or fact.” A simple hashtag intended to boost a post’s audience on social can also prime audiences to read it through an emotional, partisan lens.

Meta-Studie findet keinen Zusammenhang zwischen Benutzung von Social Media und Depressionen: social media use only predicts a small change in well-being over time. Der Artikel beschreibt dann ein Facebook-Experiment, in dem User nach dem Löschen der App Verbesserungen der Mental Health zeigten, das aber anscheinend vom Entzug der Nachrichten im Newsfeed herrührte. Medien im Netz erzeugen also ein minimales aber konstantes Stress-Level. Dazu auch: A digital detox does not improve wellbeing, say psychologists.

Kids mit Insta haben häufiger Essstörungen: Behaviours related to disordered eating were reported by 51.7% of girls, and 45% of the boys, with strict exercise and meal skipping to lose weight or prevent weight gain being the most common. […] The more social media accounts, and greater time spent using them, were associated with a higher likelihood of disordered eating thoughts and behaviours, says lead author Dr. Simon Wilksch, a Senior Research Fellow in Psychology at Flinders University. The study is believed to be the first to examine the relationship between specific social media platforms and disordered eating behaviours and thoughts in young adolescents.

Groupthink: Small distinctions, large effects: when and why individuals begin to identify themselves as members of a particular group. Clearly this sort of ‘groupthink’ can set in instantaneously. “Even slight differences between groups, such as wearing a green scarf instead of an orange one, enable us to distinguish our own group from another,” says Misch. “People are extraordinarily receptive to signals that appear to imply a readiness to cooperate.”

Geert Lovink – Digitaler Nihilismus: Thesen zur dunklen Seite der Plattformen (Amazon): Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tinder und Co. – all das Klicken, Scrollen, Wischen und Liken lässt uns am Ende sinnentleert zurück. Traurigkeit ist zum Designproblem geworden, die Höhen und Tiefen der Melancholie sind längst in den Social-Media-Plattformen kodiert. Geert Lovink bietet eine kritische Analyse der aktuellen Kontroversen, die sich um Social Media, Fake News, toxische virale Meme und Online-Sucht drehen. Er zeigt: Die Suche nach einem großen Entwurf darf als gescheitert gelten – und hat zu einer entpolitisierten Internetforschung geführt, die weder radikale Kritik übt noch echte Alternativen aufzeigt.


Stating the obvious: Unregulierte Räume (also auch Netiquette oder ähnliches) führen zu mehr Cyberbullying. No shit sherlock.

Noch eine Studie bestätigt, dass Menschen mit „starken Meinungen“ aggressive Debatten bevorzugen und dadurch Debatten beherrschen: Staying silent and speaking out in online comment sections: The influence of spiral of silence and corrective action in reaction to news: „The results suggest that the opinion climate formed by news comments influenced the opinions and comments of participants, providing evidence that those who hold strong opinions are more likely to comment when they perceive the opinion climate to be oppositional rather than supportive to their worldview.“

Menschen shiften ihre Identität nach ideologischen Bedingungen: small but significant shares of Americans engage in identity switching regarding ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and class that is predicted by partisanship and ideology in their pasts, bringing their identities into alignment with their politics.

Dazu passend: citizens are more strongly attached to political parties than to the social groups that the parties represent. In all four nations, partisans discriminate against their opponents to a degree that exceeds discrimination against members of religious, linguistic, ethnic or regional out‐groups. This pattern holds even when social cleavages are intense and the basis for prolonged political conflict.

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