12. Oktober 2018

7 Hidden Tribes and Political Correctness

Yascha Mounk im Atlantic über eine neue Studie zur Lagerbildung in den USA und dem Verhältnis dieser Tribes zu Political Correctness. Stellt sich raus: Die größten gemeinsamen Faktoren für eine Pro-PC-Haltung sind Vermögen und Bildung.

Atlantic: Americans Strongly Dislike PC Culture – Youth isn’t a good proxy for support of political correctness, and race isn’t either.
Paper: Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape

Die Studie identifiziert sieben Tribes in den USA, die sich so zwar nicht 1:1 auf unsere Verhältnisse übertragen lassen (alleine schon aufgrund des dortigen faktischen Zweiparteiensystems), allerdings durch die Fokussierung auf ein einziges Thema (Political Correctness) auch hierzulande halbwegs anwendbar sein könnten.

– Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
– Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
– Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
– Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial.
– Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
– Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
– Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising, patriotic.

Die Studie stellt auch fest, dass „Traditional“ und „Devoted Conservatives“ (bei so circa alles rechts der CDU) und „Progressive Activists“ am weitesten vom Rest entfernt sind, dem die Studie den sehr treffenden Titel „Exhausted Majority“ verleiht. Und diese müde Mehrheit sieht nicht etwa alleine Political Correctness als Problem:

while 80 percent of Americans believe that political correctness has become a problem in the country, even more, 82 percent, believe that hate speech is also a problem.

It turns out that while progressive activists tend to think that only hate speech is a problem, and devoted conservatives tend to think that only political correctness is a problem, a clear majority of all Americans holds a more nuanced point of view: They abhor racism.

Ich hatte vor ein paar Jahren geschrieben, dass eins der Kernprobleme des hysterischen Online-Diskurses der politische Aktivismus selbst ist, dessen immantente Aktivierung von Menschen durch Netzwerkeffekte genauso verstärkt wird, wie alles andere auch. Aktivismus wäre online also hyperaktivistisch. Diese Studie bestätigt diese Vermutung.

On social media, the country seems to divide into two neat camps: Call them the woke and the resentful. Team Resentment is manned—pun very much intended—by people who are predominantly old and almost exclusively white. Team Woke is young, likely to be female, and predominantly black, brown, or Asian (though white “allies” do their dutiful part). These teams are roughly equal in number, and they disagree most vehemently, as well as most routinely, about the catchall known as political correctness.

Reality is nothing like this. […]

two-thirds of Americans who don’t belong to either extreme constitute an “exhausted majority.” Their members “share a sense of fatigue with our polarized national conversation, a willingness to be flexible in their political viewpoints, and a lack of voice in the national conversation.”

Most members of the “exhausted majority,” and then some, dislike political correctness. Among the general population, a full 80 percent believe that “political correctness is a problem in our country.” Even young people are uncomfortable with it, including 74 percent ages 24 to 29, and 79 percent under age 24. On this particular issue, the woke are in a clear minority across all ages. […]

Political tribe—as defined by the authors—is an even better predictor of views on political correctness. […] Progressive activists are the only group that strongly backs political correctness: Only 30 percent see it as a problem.

So what does this group look like? Compared with the rest of the (nationally representative) polling sample, progressive activists are much more likely to be rich, highly educated—and white. They are nearly twice as likely as the average to make more than $100,000 a year. They are nearly three times as likely to have a postgraduate degree.

8. Oktober 2018

Study: Hatespeech increases Prejudice

Halbwegs neue Studie zum alten „Hatespeech“-Dilemma: Das Lesen von „Hatespeech“ stumpft ab und erhöht Vorurteile gegenüber Minderheiten, was die genauso alten Fragen nach einer gültigen Hatespeech-Definition aufwirft, wer in Zeiten von Realitätskonstruktion durch Social Media die Sprachpolizei spielen soll und wie man Randgruppen dennoch schützen kann.

Die Ergebnisse der Studie sollten sich allerdings grade die Kritiker von SJWs sehr genau durchlesen, genauso wie Trolle, die Hatespeech als „ironisches“ Mittel einsetzen.

3QuarksDaily: Does Reading Hateful Comments Increase Prejudice And Hatred?
Paper: Exposure to hate speech increases prejudice through desensitization

The researchers found that participants who were more frequently exposed to hate speech against minorities, had a higher likelihood of exhibiting anti-Muslim or anti-LGBT prejudice. Interestingly, the analysis of their data suggested that this increase in prejudice was linked to a lower sensitivity towards assessing the hate speech examples as offensive. Soral and colleagues interpreted this as a “desensitization” process. If one gets inundated with hateful comments against minorities, one no longer perceives them as offensive and this ultimately leads to an increase in prejudice targeting minorities.

If the desensitization theory holds true, then extremist political and religious groups can bring about a change in their audience’s perception of what is hateful by repeatedly broadcasting hateful messages until they represent a new normal, and increase prejudice against minorities. Freedom of expression is a value that many of us cherish but we also need to be aware of how are minds can be manipulated by those who abuse this freedom.

22. August 2018

Facebook-Usage correlates with Hate-Crime

Neue Studie mit eindeutigen Hinweisen auf eine Korrelation von Facebook-Nutzung und Hate-Crimes, speziell Anschläge auf Flüchtlinge.

Paper: Fanning the Flames of Hate: Social Media and Hate Crime
NYTimes: Facebook Fueled Anti-Refugee Attacks in Germany, New Research Suggests

Die Ergebnisse passen zu ähnlichen Studien und Berichten aus aller Welt, zuletzt hier auf Reuters. Ich sag's seit Jahren: Das emotionsbasierte "soziale" Internet führt aus ein paar relativ einfachen Gründen zu einer Zunahme von Wut und Hass und mein erster Text zu diesem Thema trug nicht aus Zufall die Headline "There will be blood". Jetzt einmal mehr wissenschaftlich belegt.

Karsten Müller and Carlo Schwarz, researchers at the University of Warwick, scrutinized every anti-refugee attack in Germany, 3,335 in all, over a two-year span. In each, they analyzed the local community by any variable that seemed relevant. Wealth. Demographics. Support for far-right politics. Newspaper sales. Number of refugees. History of hate crime. Number of protests.

One thing stuck out. Towns where Facebook use was higher than average, like Altena, reliably experienced more attacks on refugees. That held true in virtually any sort of community — big city or small town; affluent or struggling; liberal haven or far-right stronghold — suggesting that the link applies universally.

Their reams of data converged on a breathtaking statistic: Wherever per-person Facebook use rose to one standard deviation above the national average, attacks on refugees increased by about 50 percent.

Nationwide, the researchers estimated in an interview, this effect drove one-tenth of all anti-refugee violence.

The uptick in violence did not correlate with general web use or other related factors; this was not about the internet as an open platform for mobilization or communication. It was particular to Facebook.

Other experts, asked to review the findings, called them credible, rigorous — and disturbing. The study bolstered a growing body of research, they said, finding that social media scrambles users’ perceptions of outsiders, of reality, even of right and wrong.

3. August 2018

Plastik setzt Treibhausgase frei

Beim Zerfall von Plastik entstehen laut einem neuen Paper die Treibhausgase Methan und Ethylen, in besonderem Maße durch Mikroplastik. Die neue Quelle für Treibhausgase dürfte zwar den gemessenen Anstieg nicht erhöhen (denn der Ausstoß der Gase war ja nun bereits vor der Entdeckung der Quelle gegeben), aber angesichts der Tatsache, dass sich die Plastikproduktion laut Studie in den nächsten Dekaden noch einmal verdoppelt, sind die Konsequenzen unseres Plastic Planet auch hier mehr als deutlich: We're fucked.

TAZ: Klimagefahr durch Mikroplastik – Plastik schwitzt Methan.
Paper: Production of methane and ethylene from plastic in the environment

Mass production of plastics started nearly 70 years ago and the production rate is expected to double over the next two decades. While serving many applications because of their durability, stability and low cost, plastics have deleterious effects on the environment. Plastic is known to release a variety of chemicals during degradation, which has a negative impact on biota. Here, we show that the most commonly used plastics produce two greenhouse gases, methane and ethylene, when exposed to ambient solar radiation. Polyethylene, which is the most produced and discarded synthetic polymer globally, is the most prolific emitter of both gases. […] Environmentally aged plastics incubated in water for at least 152 days also produced hydrocarbon gases.

In addition, low-density polyethylene emits these gases when incubated in air at rates ~2 times and ~76 times higher than when incubated in water for methane and ethylene, respectively. Our results show that plastics represent a heretofore unrecognized source of climate-relevant trace gases that are expected to increase as more plastic is produced and accumulated in the environment.

31. Juli 2018

Dataset of Wild Faces

Mehmet Kerim Yucel et al haben eine Datenbank voller Gesichter in gewalttätigen Settings am Start, um Computervision-Systeme auf wilde Hunde zu trainieren. Existierende… Gib mir den Rest, Baby!
30. Juli 2018

Digitale Medienkompetenz als neuer Pfeiler klassischer Bildung

Der britischen Parlamentsausschusses fordert in einem neuen Bericht (PDF) zu Fake News und den gesellschaftlichen Auswirkungen von Social Media neben mehr Verantwortung der Plattformen und juristischen Frameworks auch die Einführung von digitaler Medienkompetenz als vierten Pfeiler der Schulbildung in den klassischen Kulturtechniken (neben Lesen, Schreiben und Mathematik). Letzteres sehe ich ähnlich, bei neuen juristischen Frameworks für „Fakes auf Plattformen“ bleibe ich skeptisch und sehe eine große Gefahr der Einschränkung von Freiheitsrechten aller Art. (via Ingrid Brodnig)

Hier die Stelle im Bericht über Digitale Medienkompetenz, deren letzter Absatz ziemlich genau wiedergibt, was durch das Netz auf dem Spiel steht: Wahrheit, die öffentliche Wahrnehmung der Realität, Macht und praktisch jeder einzelne Aspekt der Gesellschaft. Infrage gestellt wird das alles durch banale psychologische Mechanismen wie Confirmation Bias in Filterblasen und die mittlerweile verfestigte Netz-Konstante „Shitstorm“ ist lediglich das Symptom dieser immer weiter voranschreitenden Tribalisierung durch diese Mechanismen, verstärkt durch Vernetzung und Social Media.

234. The point of social media is to interact with other people, and to share ideas. Dr Caroline Tagg, from the Open University, carried out research that showed that people use Facebook to maintain social relationships, and to many people Facebook was not seen as a news media site, but “a place where they carry out quite complex maintenance and management of their social relationships”.

235. Within those social relationships, people tend to connect and want to spend time with others who share their same views and interests, which is when the spread of misinformation can happen so quickly. Professor Lewandowsky, from the University of Bristol, told us about an Australian study on climate change:

Only 8% of people were found to completely negate the idea that the climate is changing but those 8% thought that their opinion was shared by half the population and that was because they were all in this echo chamber and talked to each other and felt their opinions confirmed. I think that is a novel problem that is inherent to the technology. That people think, whatever they think, everybody else thinks the same way.

236. This dependency and reliance on social media comes with worrying consequences, as Tristan Harris told us:

There are many different issues emerging out of the attention economy. The externalities range from public health, addiction, culture, children’s well-being, mental well-being, loneliness, sovereignty of identity and things like that to election democracy, truth, discernment of truth and a shared reality, anti-trust and power. There are multiple issues. There are even more, because when you control the minds of people, you control society. How people make sense of the world and how they make choices are what ID is, and that can affect every aspect of society.

8. Juni 2018

Meme-Impact of /pol/, Gab, Twitter and Reddit across Plattforms

Neues Paper über den Impact von Memes auf 4chan, Reddit, Twitter und Gab.io und wie sie von dort sowohl den Mainstream als auch die Fringe-Communities im Netz beeinflussen: On the Origins of… Gib mir den Rest, Baby!