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mikecaulfield

Twitter Should Cancel the Appeals Process or Make It Work (also: I’m in Twitter jail!)

Welp, I was going to write a much more nuanced post about problems with the Twitter appeals process, but I’ll just put this here instead for now. I got banned wrongly for a tweet last week where I was talking about the history of conspiracy theory and its relationship COVID-19 misinformation today. Someone had posted … Continue reading Twitter Should Cancel the Appeals Process or Make It Work (also: I’m in Twitter jail!)

Microclout

I have a couple people in my online social circle who were over the past month telling followers to “just watch” what would happen on the 6th, when everybody but them and their followers would be surprised that Joe Biden didn’t become president. At first, Mike Pence was going to heroically pull some imagined maneuver. … Continue reading Microclout

When it comes to disinformation, the public is a vector, not a target.

Disinformation has always been about getting elites to do things. That’s the point that so many who have looked at what percentage of ppl saw what on Facebook have missed. The public isn’t a target — it’s a vector (and it’s not the only vector). Hopefully, as we watch what’s going on today, people can … Continue reading When it comes to disinformation, the public is a vector, not a target.

The Stigmergic Myth of Social Media, or Why Thinking About Radicalization Without Thinking About Radicalizers Doesn’t Work.

One of the founding myths of internet culture, and particularly web culture, is the principle of stigmergy. This will sound weird, but stigmergy is about ant behavior. Basically, ants do various things to try to accomplish objectives (e.g. get food to nest) but rather than a command and control structure to coordinate they use pheromones, … Continue reading The Stigmergic Myth of Social Media, or Why Thinking About Radicalization Without Thinking About Radicalizers Doesn’t Work.

Microtargeted Political Ads are the Tranched Subprime Mortgages of Democracy

One of the problems with microtargeted ads, and a way I’ve been thinking about them recently, is they resemble the tranched subprime mortgages that brought about the financial crash. Others have talked about this in the context of the digital ad market as a whole. The allure of digital ads was that you would finally … Continue reading Microtargeted Political Ads are the Tranched Subprime Mortgages of Democracy

Does It Stick?

A question we get asked a lot about our four moves curriculum is whether it sticks. Can a two or three week intervention really change people’s approach online to information permanently? Remember, we don’t do traditional news literacy. We don’t do traditional media literacy. We don’t teach people about newspapers, communications theory, or any of … Continue reading Does It Stick?

SIFT (The Four Moves)

Author’s note: Back in early 2017 I introduced the “four moves”, a set of strategies that students could use on the web instead of checklist approaches such as CRAAP and incoherent lists of tips. The moves were based on my own experience teaching civic digital literacy and some emerging research from Sam Wineburg and others. … Continue reading SIFT (The Four Moves)