Social Media as News Source [...]

Nearly two-thirds of adults in America now get news on social media and a fifth do so often, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, a polling outfit; the numbers continue to grow fast. (Source)


Unfortunately, people are often not selecting news, but expressing identification. See Identity Headlines, Filter Bubble

The Problem of Authority this creates might not be all bad.

Filter Bubble [...]

The version of the world presented to us in increasingly a consumer product, aimed to please rather than inform.

Algorithms such as the one that powers Facebook’s news feed are designed to give us more of what they think we want – which means that the version of the world we encounter every day in our own personal stream has been invisibly curated to reinforce our pre-existing beliefs. When Eli Pariser, the co-founder of Upworthy, coined the term “filter bubble” in 2011, he was talking about how the personalised web – and in particular Google’s personalised search function, which means that no two people’s Google searches are the same – means that we are less likely to be exposed to information that challenges us or broadens our worldview, and less likely to encounter facts that disprove false information that others have shared. Pariser’s plea, at the time, was that those running social media platforms should ensure that “their algorithms prioritise countervailing views and news that’s important, not just the stuff that’s most popular or most self-validating”. But in less than five years, thanks to the incredible power of a few social platforms, the filter bubble that Pariser described has become much more extreme. [(Source)](https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/jul/12/how-technology-disrupted-the-truth)

On social media, Streams Don't Merge.

Examples of filter bubbles: Brexit Bubble, Sanders Filter Bubble

Filter bubbles exist outside of social media. See Party Affiliation Bubble

Maybe the real stress of social media is that we are Surprised By Disagreement

Templated Self [...]

Coined by Amber Case, the term "templated self"  describes how the affordances and defaults of systems affect online expressions of identity.

A self or identity that is produced through various participation architectures, the act of producing a virtual or digital representation of self by filling out a user interface with personal information

For example, the design of the facebook profile expresses one's identity as a combination of where you live, where you work, where you were educated, and what you like.  Audrey Watters describes how software such as learning management systems, although not explicitly social, can have some of the same identity templating effects (Link)

 

Literature and History and the Flynn Effect [...]

James Flynn of Flynn Effect fame thinks gains in IQ are going to waste.

In other words, our IQs may have risen, but this hasn’t made us any wiser. “Reading literature and reading history is the only thing that’s going to capitalise on the IQ gains of the 20th Century and make them politically relevant.” You may or may not agree, but Flynn is not the only person with this concern: as William Poundstone shows in his latest book Head In The Clouds, everyday ignorance is influencing the way we make decisions in many areas of our lives. Whether or not Flynn will persuade young people to pick up a book, there’s no doubting that he has forever changed our views of intelligence. “Today I think I’m leaving a field where you can write genuine cognitive history,” he says – meaning that we can finally track and explain the ways the mind has changed and responded to our environment over time. [(Source)](http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160929-our-iqs-have-never-been-higher-but-it-hasnt-made-us-smart)

Article also discusses weird fact of IQ Gains Missed because researchers were so convinced intelligence was fixed.

More Willing to Share Than Read [...]

People are more willing to share a news article on Facebook than actually read it.

According to a new study by computer scientists at Columbia University and the French National Institute, 59 percent of links shared on social media have never actually been clicked: In other words, most people appear to retweet news without ever reading it. Worse, the study finds that these sort of blind peer-to-peer shares are really important in determining what news gets circulated and what just fades off the public radar. So your thoughtless retweets, and those of your friends, are actually shaping our shared political and cultural agendas. “People are more willing to share an article than read it,” study co-author Arnaud Legout said in a statement. “This is typical of modern information consumption. People form an opinion based on a summary, or a summary of summaries, without making the effort to go deeper.” [(Source)](https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2016/06/16/six-in-10-of-you-will-share-this-link-without-reading-it-according-to-a-new-and-depressing-study/)

This may be due to the growth of Identity Headlines

Nearly two-thirds of Americans get news through social media. See Social Media as News Source

Habermas forsaw the dwindling of Discursive Vitality based on expertise becoming less central to public dialogue.

Umberto Eco notes a related Toner Age behavior, the Alibi of Photocopies

Identity Headlines [...]

Most retweeters and Facebook reposters aren't informing, or even arguing. They are using headlines the way one might use a bumper sticker: to express who there are and bond with others.

From a user’s point of view, every share, like or comment is both an act of speech and an accretive piece of a public identity. Maybe some people want to be identified among their networks as news junkies, news curators or as some sort of objective and well-informed reader. Many more people simply want to share specific beliefs, to tell people what they think or, just as important, what they don’t. A newspaper-style story or a dry, matter-of-fact headline is adequate for this purpose. But even better is a headline, or meme, that skips straight to an ideological conclusion or rebuts an argument. [(Source)](http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/28/magazine/inside-facebooks-totally-insane-unintentionally-gigantic-hyperpartisan-political-media-machine.html?_r=0)

Much position taking is not substantive, but presentational. See Identity More Than Policy

In Partisan Sorting people first sort into parties based on belief, but then have beliefs molded by party.

Amber Case's Templated Self is an attempt to understand how UI mediates expression of identity.

Identity Headlines combined with homogeneous groups can create a Filter Bubble