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14 minutes ago, jimbaxters said:

Maybe, but he hasn't said a lot wrong in that section.

For the most part except that there aren't really any far-left echo chambers that I can think of. Unless you go by the Republican definition where they accuse Biden of being a socialist.

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Modern big tech (and small tech) create echo chambers and controversy by the nature of the algorithms that they use. To use one of the oldest of these as an example: Amazon use a sort of pattern matching algorithm to recommend books to you. Say you choose to buy Lord of the Rings the book, it will then recommend books others who bought that also bought so perhaps Game of Thrones. This is all very 2001. But the algorithms became more and more elaborate so they would take into account your age, race, sex etc. So it may start recommending Margaret Atwood to an older women and perhaps Star Wars to a younger man. 

All very wholesome and obvious. 

But the same farming of data and presenting of choices happens on things like youtube, facebook, twitter etc. But these are now presenting you news stories. So if you generally follow some pro Indyref channels and upvote SNP content you are going to see the same world view as others from that milieu. Most are vaguely aware of this but then that is not that much more than simply always buying newspapers that give one side of the news. 

In and off itself though that level of bias will have an impact on how people see the world if they only ever hear that Biden is awful or that the country is being over run with immigrants. 

For some the real problem is dopamine and how it forms memories and behaviours. You pull the arm of a slot machine and you feel a rush of excitement. That rush includes dopamine that is in part making you feel good but also in part making memories and habits. Dopamine has a powerful role in signalling where to to lay down neural connections. So your pulling of the arm becomes something your body craves for you to repeat. Or drinking alcohol, smoking and now tweeting about politics. 

The companies do not give a f**k what your politics is, its about "dwell time". Encouraging you to stay on app longer and longer. More and more dopamine. What gets people to dwell on facebook, youtube or twitter longer? Being angry and sharing the validation of being angry with other people who agree with you. Some of the strongest emotions that drive people habitually to watch videos and interact with web pages for longer and longer. 

Musk is not going to fix this, god alone knows what he thinks he is going to fix because the entire online ecology is built around feeding people to be emotional not rational, to be angry not thoughtful and to be dutiful consumers. 

And it will not take more than a couple of seconds to realise how many come onto Pie and Bovril to indulge in self congratulatory, angry politics. This does not even have an algorithm and people get addicted. 

Still people gleefully outsourced censorship to tech companies with smug "no one has the right to a platform" etc etc. Now you might find out what happens when those tech companies values no longer align with your own. (We shall see what Musk actually does, I suspect its more of a case of a dog finally catching the car and not really knowing what comes next). 

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There is a very old fashioned part of my brain that cannot comprehend a guy paying 44 billion dollars for a company that doesn't make anything. It's just a platform, and one in decline. The new Bebo, MySpace, Friends reunited. Surely he won't make money off this deal.

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As usual Dormolin is wrong. 

Twitter is 100% a communication tool that is valuable because whoever owns it gets to attempt to shape the discourse and ensures that no one else has that tool. That's where the value is. 

Musk is the modern day Howard Hughes. A billionaire who's private wealth is the result of US government contracts, subsidies and programs that have worked hugely in his favour to the tune of about $10 billion in liquid capital. Musk is a Military Industrial Complex oligarch and he will primarily be looking after his own sources of revenue which means keeping US powerbrokers happy. 

Ideally we would have these apps without algorithms and just see the content that flows from who we follow and what we search for. Billionaires like Musk can't let that happen. 



Edited by Detournement
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