We have to create ways to distinguish between facts and falsehoods on social media.
Jody MacPherson's insight:
This is why we cannot just walk away from the comments section, allow the trolls to run wild and give up on civil public discourse. As much as it disgusts us, we must face this problem and not give way to hate, ignorance and violence on social networks.
It’s not just the census. Ottawa’s been destroying research, wiping clean websites and deleting government records. How the attack on information threatens our economy, our reputation and what we know about ourselves.
From the article: "Social media and other tech companies have become increasingly active in pushing out debate stats, and candidates have taken notice. Carson actually blasted out an email to supporters ahead of the debate, asking that they Google his name during important moments."
This behavior is analogous to the behavior of laboratory rats in operant-conditioning experiments: if a rat gets a food pellet at random intervals after performing a specific action, the rat will keep doing that action in the hope of getting fed again. Similarly, users have discovered that clicking elements that don’t have strong signifiers sometimes works. Like the lab rats, users will stick to random clicking as long as they get rewarded from time to time.
While the social media can't replace face-to-face interactions, it has a wider reach, and with such platforms as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Periscope, police can hold "virtual community meetings" every couple of minutes.
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