Examining the #fakenews impasse

tech_democracy_img.pngWhether or not we can call the current state of online fake news an impasse remains to be seen.

Although recent events—from allegations of Russian-linked Facebook accounts spending inordinate amounts of money to spread fake stories during the 2016 U.S. presidential election to the more recent senseless mass shootings in Las Vegas—continue to expose the pervasive effect of how fabricated information’s ubiquity can weigh over our collective psyche.

It’s a topic all too familiar, yet so difficult to wrap our heads around. And while it seems like a novel trend heavily discussed and theorized by many, as if seeking to squeeze any trace of accountability identifiable to whatever source(s) must assume responsibility, most of us know fake news is not all that new.

A recent post highlighting polling data suggests that experts are divided on how technology can effectively address the #fakenews problem. One set of respondents offers optimistic perspectives while another is leery of how we readily we tend to relegate  responsibility and control to powerful, private tech companies.

Sally Wentworth, vice president of global policy development at the Internet Society, notes that “..we are outsourcing this function to private entities that exist, ultimately, to make a profit and not necessarily for a social good. How much power are we turning over to them to govern our social discourse? Do we know where that might eventually lead?”

This philosophical rhetoric echoes similar sentiments we fleshed out in our #Trends chat in June surrounding the mesmerizing tech monopoly. For November’s segment, let’s continue our exploration in this area and don our critical thinkings hats for the hour-long convo:

  • Q1 How does #fakenews personally affect you? What is your most pressing concern about this flagrant trend?
  • Q2 Is it feasible and sustainable to “outsource” the responsibility of fixing  #fakenews to tech’s social giants (FB, Twitter, GOOG etc)? How so?
  • Q3 What makes today’s #fakenews significantly more problematic than how media has traditionally been controlling messaging before the Internet?
  • Q4 Will regulating social media companies lead to effective solutions that stem #fakenews?
The mesmerizing tech monopoly

The mesmerizing tech monopoly

A recent post from The Verge, managed to surface one jaw-dropping perspective:

By positioning themselves as the platforms on top of which information technology across every sector now runs, these titans of tech become the new centers of gravity for our economy, growing in size, scope, and influence while everyone else struggles not to fall too far behind.

These tech titans include the likes of Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Facebook. The article highlights some compelling stats with respect to the unprecedented growth of these seemingly indomitable giants.

Does this blatant top dog landscape sit well with you?

For our June 2017 segment of #smchat Trends, let’s take a few moments to satisfy our curiosity by exploring this phenomenon and its implications:

  • Q1 In a best case scenario, what good would tech monopolies do? 
  • Q2 What type of tech poses the most threateningly disruptive impact? 
  • Q3 Despite protest we continue to consume the fruits of these titans. What exactly are we compromising (if any)? 
  • Q4 Can open source efforts like blockchain help democratize tech the way it was meant to be?
  • Q5 Are you concerned by tech dominance at all? How so? 

Join me on Twitter, Wed June 7 2017 at 1 pm EST for #smchat’s usual hour-long #powerchat

Related Reading

Lapsed marketing

Lapsed marketing

Are you a “lapsed marketer”?

So here I am randomly blogging after what, a two year hiatus (?) and outta the blue I ask whether or not you’re exhibiting symptoms of Marketingus lapsisus. Sounds like a hideous disease but there may be more to this #fake scientific name than you think.

Allow me to walk you through this by first going down memory lane. This may be slightly painful, so bear with me.

Anybody can do marketing

Right? #AMIRITE ??

That’s what a few people suddenly found themselves saying during the Great Recession of 2008, especially following that subprime mortgage fiasco we won’t go into.

I’m not suggesting hordes of people lost everything and suddenly became marketers overnight. I have no specific data to support this claim. However, I distinctly remember encountering and interacting with a host of Twitter profiles back in ‘08 who were all very clearly evangelizing the magic of Marketingus followmeitis, relentlessly bullhorning brand and bait in the name of self-actualizing goals!

Nothing wrong with that. And some may well have transitioned themselves successfully as bone fide marketeers. So, is it true? Can anybody do marketing?

Self-employed pro’s, consultants, artisans and the like do it themselves all the time!

That said, marketing may look like the type of job anybody can do. But it obviously depend8bce7501cb8c8bb6114e11166035be1ds on the context, audience and scale. Enterprise level marketing, for instance, requires specific skills, technical knowledge and field experience. Not only that, you must truly be agile, transmutable and ahead of trends before they emerge.

The unforgiving digital age

During the halcyon days of social media, where online networking was experiencing its own version of Woodstock, the wild wild west of social marketing started rearing its ugly–—I mean, was also burgeoning.

Continue reading “Lapsed marketing”

Diversification: the key to smart social sharing

Diversification: the key to smart social sharing

Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Not surprisingly, this very adage is true of social media activity, whether you are an avid  participator, eager onlooker, or a psychologically disturbed stalker.

Okay, maybe not that last bit (although you know you who are—yes, you Mr. and Ms. Stalker!)

In any event, it’s no secret that practicing moderation in virtually any endeavour yields optimal results. So lets apply this logic to social media sharing.

Here are five reminders that can diversify your day-to-day social media tendencies and help secure a useful and sustainable way to engage online:

  1. Be mindful of what you share 
    It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and have the gushing urge to want to share every minute detail that seems so significant to you. But what may feel steeped in inspiration and promise for you at a given moment may be completely irrelevant (if not meaningless) to someone else.  Before posting anything, ask yourself, “Is it necessary? Is it harming anyone? Will your life be less valuable if you kept it to yourself?”

Continue reading “Diversification: the key to smart social sharing”