A Blog by Jonathan Low

 

Nov 8, 2019

The Weaponization of Context

Content is only meaningful if it is presented in ways that create suspicion, confusion and outrage. All of which is possible by digitally manipulating the context of how and where it is presented. JL

Barry Ritholtz reports in The Big Picture:

It is not the weaponisation of content, but rather Context that is so dangerous. The digital age encouraged us to believe that only positive changes would come when we lived in hyper-connected communities able to access any information we needed with a click or a swipe. But this idealised vision has been swiftly replaced by a recognition that our information ecosystem is polluted and dividing rather than connecting us.
Claire Wardle writes, “We live in an age of information disorder.” She notes it is not the weaponisation of content, but rather Context that is so dangerous.

A few more words:
“The promise of the digital age encouraged us to believe that only positive changes would come when we lived in hyper-connected communities able to access any information we needed with a click or a swipe. But this idealised vision has been swiftly replaced by a recognition that our information ecosystem is now dangerously polluted and is dividing rather than connecting us.
Imposter websites, designed to look like professional outlets, are pumping out misleading hyper-partisan content. Sock puppet accounts post outrage memes to Instagram and click farms manipulate the trending sections of social media platforms and their recommendation systems.
Elsewhere, foreign agents pose as Americans to coordinate real-life protests between different communities while the mass collection of personal data is used to micro-target voters with bespoke messages and advertisements. Over and above this, conspiracy communities on 4chan and Reddit are busy trying to fool reporters into covering rumours or hoaxes.”
This impact investors and voters alike . . .



Source: First Draft

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