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  • Writer's pictureDavid Riordan

The Future According to Facebook/Google/Twitter!

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

It is no longer a secret that the misinformation social media campaigns that impacted the 2016 elections have brought about much greater awareness of the power of Google, Facebook and Twitter platforms to shape our cultural perceptions. I have been covering this story in my in-depth series What's My News.

Something has fundamentally changed in the past five years in the way we interact with our news sources on social media and through search results. The fact that 44% of the US population gets their "news" from social media is a significant sea change. The concept of what is currently popular, "trending" or even true has evolved from being influenced by more traditional news sources like television, radio and newspapers to the new types of news that social media platforms create.

In this wake up call, Congress and those of us that are paying attention are starting to ask questions about these platforms. Do we need guidelines to regulate these tech giants from contributing to what we now call "fake news?" We have done this many times before as corporations have reach unbridled levels of influence. And equally important, how are these platforms safeguarding the massive amounts of personal data they are collecting from us from being hacked by everyone from malcontents to state run intelligence services.

In this new dispatch from Alina Selyukh at NPR, she chronicles beginning efforts by state attorney generals to take a look at this relatively new phenomenon. A side note that interests me is that originally this inquiry was brought about by those that claimed an anti-conservative bias on social media platforms. It's interesting the alt-right would be more upset than progressives, when it was Democrats who were the targets of much of the misinformation campaigns and outright lies that were created to promote conservative candidates including Donald Trump. As we keep saying, we live in a cultural reality show that has yet to stabilize.

Check out Alina's article and get ready for more. This is a story that is not going away and we consider it one bell weather about what kind of world we will live in going forward. Check out the other What's My News dispatches here.


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