Nota: citações editadas para efeitos de claridade e tentativa de uma maior brevidade do texto - da nossa parte vamos condensar onde possível em prol das intenções mas podem sempre seguir a ligação e ler no original. Duh. No final encontras as datas.
Do nosso último post:
" - contando obviamente que nos próximos tempos se encontrará uma qualquer narrativa que os escusará de um mea culpa demasiado oneroso além do recomendável às circunstâncias - ”
in Real Nós
Um dia depois essa narrativa já marchava galopante com o grosso das recriminações a incidirem sobre o Facebook. É-nos difícil não querer também participar do deboche de acusações à rede social do Zack - em parte, porque, e como alertamos de início, esta tem verdadeiramente culpa no cartório - mas aproveitemos o momento para revistar a argumentação antes que esta se torne demasiado extravagante.
Antes mesmo do acordar em choque à nova ordem mundial de 9 de novembro já a imprensa se preparava para um pós-eleições em jeito de lamurio: a vitória de Clinton seria o regresso à normalidade depois de um ciclo eleitoral tão atípico, e a normalidade não é boa para os negócios. Medimos o pulso do estado da arte em jeito pré-Clinton com dois artigos anteriores às eleições, um de dia 2 (CJR) e outro de dia 6 (NYT) de novembro – à data obviamente não antevendo o resultado dessa apenas alguns dias mais tarde, ignorância essa que de resto está na base do abalo que retratámos e que provoca as reacções que agora nos ocupam.
Voltamos à malograda circunstância em que a imprensa se encontra - que tão bem aqui já conhecemos e retratamos como a tempestade perfeita que retornam os comics aos media - por via da crise que o digital provocou sobre um modelo de negócio que depende da alocação física de rolos e resmas de papel entre o ponto A e o ponto B e repete e recicla. Citamos:
The election news bubble that’s about to pop has blocked from plain view the expanding financial sinkhole at the center of the paper-and-ink branch of the news industry, which has recently seen a print advertising plunge that was “much more precipitous, to be honest with you, than anybody expected a year or so ago”. (…) Papers including The Journal, The New York Times, The Guardian, the Gannett publications and others have responded with plans to reorganize, shed staff, kill off whole sections, or all of the above. (…) Even before this year’s ad revenue drop, the number of full-time daily journalists was on the way to being half what it was in 2000.
Wall Street Journal will combine sections of its physical newspaper, resulting in less space devoted to arts, culture, and local news coverage, to cope with the decline in print advertising. (...) Those reports came on the heels of a New York Times earnings report this morning with more bad news: print ad revenues at the Gray Lady cratered 18.5 percent in the third quarter as compared to the same period last year, and the newspaper predicted the numbers would fall by a similar percentage in the fourth quarter. (...) In September, The Guardian said it planned to cut its US operation by 30 percent. And there is more to come: The newsroom at The New York Times is expected to shrink in 2017. (…) in the midst of a disastrous month for newspapers, as earnings reports from across the industry show newspapers are in even worse trouble than previously understood. The problem: print advertising revenue has taken a sudden tumble, the worst pullback since the Great Recession.
As razões de sempre: digital, receitas, incerteza, com previsões para pior quando o que parecia mau antes seria agora mais do que aceitável.
One reason for the decline is a shift, of both readers and ad buyers, from print to digital. (…) The problem for publishers is that digital revenues have not come close to replacing their dead tree counterparts. (…) After a steep drop just after the 2008 recession, newspaper advertising had entered into a steady, but relatively stable decline. Between 2010 and 2015, print advertising fell between five and eight percent each year, according to the Pew Research Center. In an analysis published last month, Interpublic Group’s Magna projected spending on print advertising would fall about 11 percent this year. That prediction now seems optimistic.
Apesar da benesse que Trump em campanha representou para os media, estes lutam pela sobrevivência mercê da sua dependência da publicidade para financiamento com os respectivos ajustamentos que se previam findado o bom momento de cobertura ao disparate nacional: o despedimento massivo de jornalistas. As citações que se seguem são particularmente oportunas pelo que dizem, e quando o disseram:
With the US presidential election less than a week away, journalists are fretting that newsrooms that expanded to cover the interminable campaign season may pull back from political coverage, resulting in additional cuts.
If the national reporting corps is going to be reduced even more during such an election-driven readership boom, what are things going to look like when the circus leaves town?
Hoje sabemos que o circo veio para ficar…
Meses antes da nova normalidade que se instala neste final de ano e promete arrastar-se pelas eleições de 2017, o lamento pelo desaparecimento da espécie dava origem a pequenas peças de saudosismo que nos são pertinente aqui fazer eco para efeitos das nossas comparações – como o excerto que se segue:
With fewer journalists working today, reporters are becoming increasingly concentrated in coastal cities, investigative journalism and local statehouse reporting is declining, and the ratio of journalists to public relations specialists is widening.
Citizens outside of these areas likely have fewer reporters acting as local watchdogs and the media system is becoming increasingly concentrated in coastal cities.
With financial pressure to adapt to low advertising rates, papers and digital outlets are incentivized to focus on shorter articles that cost less time and money to produce. (...) In this economic environment, greenlighting time-consuming, in-depth reports that may get less traffic than lighter-fare articles has become increasingly rare.
Several experts quoted in the report believe the quality of reporting is deteriorating. (...) The public is not being kept aware of important policy decisions that are being made that will affect their daily lives.
Editorial staffs shrink, there is less ability for news media to interrogate and counter the claims in press releases. Trade associations hire PR firms to craft messages when they are facing public scrutiny and regulations (...) journalists are being outnumbered and outspent by the public relations industry
A concentração de jornalistas em áreas urbanas, a falta de atenção à ruralidade, o jornalismo light de entretenimento orientado ao click-bait, a deterioração na qualidade da investigação às consequências das políticas realizadas e a impunidade dos lobbies perante qualquer escrutínio ou regulação criaram as condições propícias com o resultado previsível. Felizmente, a vitória de Trump torna igualmente previsíveis dias interessantes ao jornalismo: apesar das dificuldades que se adivinham tem agora uma missão renovada - e com sorte dar-lhe-ão mais ponderação do que a conseguida à primeira volta. Seguiu-se o choque e, recuperados deste, o sacudir de culpas e a interiorização da oportunidade que se apresenta. Passo um, meter as culpas noutro miserável qualquer, passo dois: bradar aos céus que o bom jornalismo será a salvação da humanidade. Em diferentes graus, concordamos com os dois passos. O miserável no banco dos réus é efectivamente culpado, mas teve os seus cúmplices. Por falar nesses, o passo dois também tem a nossa simpatia, mas é a definição de “bom” jornalismo que nos separa em vários graus.
Comecemos pelo Facebook. Aproveitando a deixa do artigo do New York Times acima citado publicado um dia antes das eleições - apesar de não assumir o tom das acusações que se seguiram, rondou por perto e deu o mote- somaram-se os coros de acusações:
Taken together, it means another rapid depletion in the nation’s ranks of traditionally trained journalists whose main mission is to root out corruption, hold the powerful accountable and sort fact from fiction for voters. (…) It couldn’t be happening at a worse moment in American public life. The internet-borne forces that are eating away at print advertising are enabling a host of faux-journalistic players to pollute the democracy with dangerously fake news items.
Ao mau momento da imprensa por via da internet das coisas, bons jornalistas começam a rarear, e sem estes a servir de watch dogs à verdade, falsas notícias começam a circular que corrompem a democracia. Um dia depois das eleições, as falsas notícias são a encarnação de tudo o que há de mal na sociedade da informação e os bons jornalistas os paladinos que nos defenderão. E, repetindo, em certos aspectos concordamos. Só discordamos da separação de águas que agora pretendem. Continuando, agora já com Trump como presidente-eleito. Bring on tha finger-pointing, muthas!
There’s plenty of blame to go around, but the list of actors has to start with Facebook.
News organizations, particularly cable news, are shouldering part of the blame for failing to report these lies for what they were. But a largely hidden sphere of propagandistic pages that target and populate the outer reaches of political Facebook are arguably even more responsible.
Note-se o sacudir da coisa. Foi uma felicidade imensa para a imprensa que esta não tenha ainda completamente abdicado de fazer jornalismo em prol de creamy risotos, pôde assim ensaiar o readquirir alguma dignidade - que, como sempre, o conseguirá à laia de tanto o repetir – com as advertências atempadas que agora recupera. Continuando, essencialmente: dois eixos. Notícias falsas e “câmaras” de eco.
Discomfort over the role Facebook has played, both in creating echo chambers and disseminating false news, preceded the election.
The company is being accused of abdicating its responsibility to clamp down on fake news stories and counter the echo chamber that defined this election.
Tudo, porque, afinal, surpresa, o Facebook tem um peso desmesurado entre os cidadãos.
Reality crashed down and many were presented with a world that didn’t match up with the one they’ve inhabited in the months leading up to the U.S. election. As it turns out, that was Facebook’s world. The social media network has become an outsize player in crafting our understanding of the events that take place around us. But only today are some realizing how powerful its influence has become.
I’m using “Facebook” here as a stand-in for the half-dozen large and influential message boards and social-media platforms (...) but Facebook’s size, reach, wealth, and power make it effectively the only one that matters. Trump’s ascendancy is far from the first material consequence of Facebook’s conquering invasion of our social, cultural, and political lives, but it’s still a bracing reminder of the extent to which the social network is able to upend existing structure and transform society — and often not for the better.
E, nesse contexto, surpresa pt2: o FB pode afectar a realidade política. Damn!
Facebook hasn’t just become nearly ubiquitous among American internet users; it has centralized online news consumption in an unprecedented way (...) hosting a huge portion of the political conversation in America.
Tratemos os dois eixos em separado e depois novamente num todo já que se embrenham naturalmente um no outro.
“Echo chambers” ou “I do like tha sound of my voice”
Rather than connecting people – as Facebook’s euphoric mission statement claims – the bitter polarization of the social network over the last eighteen months suggests Facebook is actually doing more to divide the world.
While it’s human nature to believe what we want to hear, Facebook’s algorithms reinforce political polarization.
A culpa é do algoritmo. Certo e voltaremos a este ponto adiante. Antes, carregando bem a natureza humana:
Human beings have always sorted themselves into like-minded groups
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.
Indivíduos que pensam de forma semelhante têm a tendência de gravitar entre si, a partilha de conteúdos pode ser uma expressão de identidade ou de valores – nesse tópico, ler OS POSITIVOS, uma cena de banda desenhada pessoal de propaganda. Mas divagamos, continuando:
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.
Aquilo dos memes como comunicação acelerada, maximizada, optimizada aos canais de comunicação digitais. Voltaremos futuramente aos mesmos. Para já, importa-nos da referência que:
A huge percentage of people who clicked on an article (…) never even scrolled down the page. A vast majority only ever made it halfway. “They’re reading the headlines, getting an emotional reaction, and they’re passing them along,” (...) It’s a trend that feels tailor-made for a candidate like Trump, whose campaign was high on emotion but low on detail.
Acrescentemos a esse sad state of affairs o facto que boa parte desses headlines que as pessoas leem e depois não refutam são simplesmente falsas. Enter fake.
As notícias falsas
The most obvious way in which Facebook enabled a Trump victory has been its inability (or refusal) to address the problem of hoax or fake news.
A praga das notícias falsas é de difícil resolução e tenderá, na nossa perspetiva, a ser resolvida com o fim da inocência perante as redes sociais. Não sendo estas fáceis de perfilhar -
There’s a long tail of insidious half truths and misleading interpretations that fall squarely in the grey area: “Not everything is true or false, and in the gaps between what we can check and what is missing from our control we can create a narrative
- e explosivas no impacto pela sua rápida disseminação:
There’s a lag of around 13 hours between the publication of a false report and the subsequent debunking. That’s enough time for a story to be read by hundreds of thousands if not millions of people. Within Facebook’s digital echo chamber “People are more prone to accept false information and ignore dissenting information”
- sobrevivem – prosperam! – parasitando o FB – e apesar do julgamento de moral, notem a nossa inveja ao seu sucesso:
Political news and advocacy pages made specifically for Facebook, uniquely positioned and cleverly engineered to reach audiences exclusively in the context of the news feed. These are news sources that essentially do not exist outside of Facebook, and you’ve probably never heard of them. They have names like Occupy Democrats; The Angry Patriot; US Chronicle; Addicting Info; RightAlerts; Being Liberal; Opposing Views; Fed-Up Americans; American News; and hundreds more. Some of these pages have millions of followers; many have hundreds of thousands. Individually, these pages have meaningful audiences, but cumulatively, their audience is gigantic: tens of millions of people. (...)
Uma nova realidade ou trolls by any other name?
Facebook’s labyrinthine sharing and privacy settings mean that fact-checks get lost in the shuffle. Often, no one would even need to click on and read the story for the headline itself to become a widely distributed talking point, repeated elsewhere online, or, sometimes, in real life. And at the heart of the problem, anyway, is not the motivations of the hoaxers but the structure of social media itself (...) because Facebook’s sorting algorithm understood from experience that they were seeking such stories.
Aquilo dos algoritmos - começas a perceber a tendência? Suposições à parte, as notícias falsas alimentam a anterior bolha de autoexclusão:
The engagement-driving feedback loop reached the heights of Facebook itself, which shared fake news to its front page on more than one occasion after firing the small team of editorial employees tasked with passing news judgment.
O FB já teve uma pequena equipa de editores que acabou dispensada quando foram acusados por conservadores norte-americanos de censurarem demasiadas das suas notícias. Podemos entender essa decisão de duas formas diferentes: a) o FB censurou os republicanos e foi feita uma correcção, ou b) o FB despediu a equipe de pessoas que bloqueava conteúdos republicanos. São duas situações completamente distintas.
Adiante apresentamos-vos uma “teoria da conspiração” nossa – hey! acompanhamos os desenvolvimentos do FB desde dia 9, tanta imersão à coisa tem o seu custo :) Na sua leitura, recorda-te a propósito as novidades de hoje sobre a equipa editorial humana que o FB dispensou, e como esta se liga às notícias falsas. Do Gizmodo, título “Facebook's Fight Against Fake News Was Undercut by Fear of Conservative Backlash”
It’s no secret that Facebook has a fake news problem (...) some suggesting that Facebook contributed to Donald Trump’s election by letting hyper-partisan websites spread false and misleading information.
One source said high-ranking officials were briefed on a planned News Feed update that would have identified fake or hoax news stories, but disproportionately impacted right-wing news sites by downgrading or removing that content from people’s feeds. According to the source, the update was shelved and never released to the public.
“They absolutely have the tools to shut down fake news,” said the source, (MAS) “there was a lot of fear about upsetting conservatives after Trending Topics,” and that “a lot of product decisions got caught up in that.”
“The Trending Topics episode paralyzed Facebook’s willingness to make any serious changes to its products that might compromise the perception of its objectivity.” A controversy that started in May, when Gizmodo published a story in which former Facebook workers revealed that the trending news team was run by human “curators” and guided by their editorial judgments, rather than populated by an algorithm. Facebook denied the allegations, then later fired its entire trending news team.
O caso das notícias falsas merece a nossa atenção porque ocorre em duas frentes completamente distintas que por coincidência coabitam convenientemente entre si: “dark economy of false pro-Trump Facebook pages” com o supramencionado trollin’ puro e duro.
Facebook has become a sewer of misinformation. Some of it is driven by ideology, but a lot is driven purely by the economic incentive structure Facebook has created: The fake stuff, when it connects with a Facebook user’s preconceived notions or sense of identity, spreads like wildfire.
Sobre a economia do falso
These pages represented 2016’s “most disruptive, least understood force in media.” Behind the pages, he found a new ecosystem of young entrepreneurs who used cheap labor from places like the Philippines to create and pump out large numbers of often false stories across the Facebook ecosystem. (...) Macedonian teenagers churn out hundreds of pro-Trump Facebook pages not out of ideological commitment, but for money. Ad sales are all automated, and based on demographic data. Publishers that generate those data for traffic are not rewarded for quality.
- com o próprio FB a ter ganhos sobre este mercado do bullshitin’: afinal eles estão no negócio da venda de anúncios.
On Facebook, the thoughts in your head turned into news articles you liked, turned into things you could share. On Facebook, everyone and no one could hear you scream. And the louder we screamed, the more our time on the site increased. As did Facebook’s revenue.
Dois exemplos de “empreendedores” desta nova economia:
Visitors arriving to Nicoloff’s website produced a little more than $30,000 in revenue. His costs, he said, total around $8,000, partly split between website hosting fees and advertising buys on Facebook itself.
He estimates that he spends about a thousand dollars a day advertising his pages on Facebook; as a result, they have more than 10 million followers. In a good month, Littlepage’s properties bring in $60,000.
O reverso da medalha é igualmente revelador: não fosse suficientemente elucidativo o anterior exemplo de despedirem a equipe editorial, o laissez faire e a bolha dos comuns recomenda-se igualmente por via do negócio:
Facebook isolates readers from difference and disagreement for solid commercial reasons. A troll war of competing belief systems, played out in abuse and slurs, is an expensive nightmare to moderate and, as Twitter has discovered, poison to advertisers.
O relatório de contas do FB para este ano parece bater certo e recomendam-se. Piada fácil que vale a pena repetir a propósito das justificações do Suck já dadas sobre o actual momento:
The CEO claimed that at least 99% of news content on Facebook was “authentic.” In its earnings reports, Facebook does not break out how much of its revenue comes from political advertising or the promotion of news posts. That makes it hard for the public to evaluate what the impact of even 1% of “hoax” news could have been. (…) There is a possibility that Facebook may not even want to become “arbiters of truth,” because doing so could reduce engagement.
Voltemos a nossa atenção agora ao outro grupo de gente interessante nesta equação: os trollies:
Facebook-native political pages have begun to create and refine a new approach to political news: cherry-picking and reconstituting the most effective tactics and tropes from activism, advocacy and journalism into a potent new mixture. This strange new class of media organization slots seamlessly into the news feed. (…) The point is not to get them to click on more stories or to engage further with a brand. The point is to get them to share the post that’s right in front of them. Everything else is secondary.
Such news exists primarily within the feeds of the already converted, its authorship obscured, its provenance unclear, its veracity questionable. It’s an environment that’s at best indifferent and at worst hostile to traditional media brands; but for this new breed of page operator, it’s mostly upside. In front of largely hidden and utterly sympathetic audiences, incredible narratives can take shape, before emerging, mostly formed, into the national discourse.
O uso eficiente de tropos web, o cherry-picking e reconstrução de conteúdos (*), advocacia e jornalismo misturados sem qualquer intenção de provocar clicks mas apenas provocar e conseguir a disseminação da mensagem (**)…
* Hey: reconstruímos para efeitos de brevidade académica, o sentido mantem-se fiel aos originais – para sua infelicidade.
** Culpados. Mas as nossas fontes estão assinaladas e a sua veracidade comprovada à luz do establishment: se discordas leva a discussão a eles. No final expomos ainda outra grande diferença, se chegares lá – se não chegares, não nos importa muito que não a saibas.
E neste ponto não temos como não falar da inaptidão dos média em lidar com o Facebook. Ou, temos, e podemos, mas queremos. Longo excerto, vale todo o tempo que lhe deres:
Facebook’s takeover of online media looks rather like a slow-motion coup. Before social media, web publishers could draw an audience one of two ways: through a dedicated readership visiting its home page or through search engines. By 2009, this had started to change. Facebook had more than 300 million users, primarily accessing the service through desktop browsers, and publishers soon learned that a widely shared link could produce substantial traffic. In 2010, Facebook released widgets that publishers could embed on their sites, reminding readers to share, and these tools were widely deployed. By late 2012, when Facebook passed a billion users, referrals from the social network were sending visitors to publishers’ websites at rates sometimes comparable to Google, the web’s previous de facto distribution hub. Publishers took note of what worked on Facebook and adjusted accordingly.
This was, for most news organizations, a boon. The flood of visitors aligned with two core goals of most media companies: to reach people and to make money. But as Facebook’s growth continued, its influence was intensified by broader trends in internet use, primarily the use of smartphones, on which Facebook became more deeply enmeshed with users’ daily routines. Soon, it became clear that Facebook wasn’t just a source of readership; it was, increasingly, where readers lived.
A new reality set in, as a social-media network became an intermediary between publishers and their audiences. For media companies, the ability to reach an audience is fundamentally altered.
A company that can claim nearly every internet-using adult as a user is less a partner than a context — a self-contained marketplace to which you have been granted access but which functions according to rules and incentives that you cannot control.
E, foi, in a nutshell, a relação media-FB circa 2016.
Zuck–b defende-se, mas nem por isso
Retornando ao disclaimer do CEO do FB – em recap:
“Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes. (...) “That said, we don’t want any hoaxes on Facebook. Our goal is to show people the content they will find most meaningful, and people want accurate news.
O que nos parece bem. Assim como são válidas outras das suas afirmações que não nos ouvirão negar:
“That means that the information you are getting through the social system is going to be inherently more diverse than you would have gotten through news stations.”
Some of the concerns Facebook says are behind its cautious approach to becoming more involved in policing content. He wrote: “This is an area where I believe we must proceed very carefully though. Identifying the ‘truth’ is complicated. (...) I believe we must be extremely cautious about becoming arbiters of truth ourselves.”
E agora o mesmo já com o spin pelos media porque infelizmente, este comboio já partiu há muito. A não edição de conteúdo já é uma edição do mesmo, no caso em questão com o resultado conhecido: a proliferação do falso. Sociologia e psicologia à parte:
[Zuckerberg] also rejected the idea that people’s news feeds are becoming increasingly personalized to the point that opposing views are no longer visible – a phenomenon known as the filter bubble. (…) The problem is that people don’t “click on and engage” with content that doesn’t conform to their world view, according to a human tendency towards confirmation bias.
Because Facebook tailors the newsfeed its users see to what they and their friends have previously liked and shared, especially partisan stories aimed at supporters of either candidate in the election could spread rapidly and in some cases earn significant amount of advertising revenue for their creators.
Os média querem sangue porque têm com o Facebook um rancor que vem de trás. Pensa taxistas e Uber.
This line is part of Zuckerberg’s familiar but increasingly unconvincing narrative that Facebook is not a media company, but a tech company (...) it is clear that Zuckerberg is rapidly losing that argument. In fact, Facebook, now the most influential and powerful publisher in the world.
Daqui à importância de um jornalismo competente deixado aos profissionais é um salto:
A clear parallel between the rise of the social Web and the migration away from truth by those who publish there (...) The decline of newspapers in physical form and their passing on to the internet puts them on all fours with the vast flows of information, fantasy, leaks, conspiracy theories, expressions of benevolence and hatred.
A culpa é do algoritmo. E essa é apenas a deixa.
Para saberes mais sobre estes e "objectividade" podes começar pelos desenvolvimentos de hoje:
Facebook, like Google, is a content filter.
in "Google and Facebook's 'fake news' ban is a welcome nail in the coffin of 'software objectivity' 15nov 2016
Simples. Até que lês o fine print. Então percebes que é inútil.
[Facebook] algorithms have their pick of text, photos and video produced and posted by established media organizations large and small, local and national, openly partisan or nominally unbiased. But there’s also a new and distinctive sort of operation that has become hard to miss: (…) unlike traditional media organizations, which have spent years trying to figure out how to lure readers out of the Facebook ecosystem and onto their sites, these new publishers are happy to live inside the world that Facebook has created. (...) they are, perhaps, the purest expression of Facebook’s design and of the incentives coded into its algorithm.
Soa pacífico mas não é inocente. Esta linha de pensamento descamba sempre na mesma lógica: gatekeers. Veja-se agora através do apelo à regulação do FB pelos padrões da imprensa:
There are few things that could impact it for the better more than Facebook starting to care — really care — about the truthfulness of the news that its users share and take in.
The solution is to create a filter. Facebook will need to change its business model if it does want to address these editorial challenges.
Facebook can and should play a more active part in editing—yes, editing—its own platform, and hiring actual people to do so.
Essencialmente, rescrever o algoritmo, ou, melhor ainda, substitui-lo por pessoas. Talvez, pessoas qualificadas na avaliação do que é digno ou indigno de nota e notícia. Assim que, por exemplo, jornalistas encartados? Afinal, é bom para o Facebook e para o jornalismo. Senhoras e senhores, o FB é o sewer da idade digital, o pior que aconteceu ao jornalismo, mas, e já que o jornalismo está nas lonas e não o podes vencer – eles não o dizem mas ressalta na leitura de toda a desarmonia- e porque não te juntares a ele? Aos que possam condenar-nos por suposições demasiado extravagantes, segue-se um longo mashup que apresenta o rationale desde a da decadência à alvorada da solução decifrada.
1. O mau estado da arte, e a culpa é do FB.
Segregated social universes (...) and mass media’s revenue decline. The disconnect between two realities shows no sign of abating. (...) The troubling morning-after realization is that the structures of today’s media ecosystem encourage that separation (...) The decline of the mass media’s business models; the continued rise of personalized social feeds and the content that spreads easily within them;
In an age of budget cuts in traditional media, and the rise of clickbait and race-to-the-bottom journalism, standards have slipped across the board.
The truth of a piece of content is less important than whether it is shared, liked and monetized. These “engagement” metrics distort the media landscape, allowing clickbait, hyperbole and misinformation to proliferate. And on Facebook’s voracious news feed, the emphasis is on the quantity of posts, not spending time on powerful, authoritative, well-researched journalism. (…) The more we click, like and share stuff that resonates with our own world views the more Facebook feeds us with similar posts.
2. Mesmo, a culpa é do FB!
Media failed to reflect to the full range of views (MAS) a kink in the system it was not the coverage, but the delivery system.
Journalism matters because people around the world need timely news and analysis to make informed decisions about their lives (…) There are no longer common narratives that unite large segments of the population. Facebook and to a lesser extent Twitter have segmented and fractured the media, and a good deal of the information that comes through feeds is tendentious and false (…)People don’t read web sites, much less newspapers. Instead, they get their news through social media feeds.
3. A imprensa tradicional recomenda-se, apenas precisa de mais visibilidade no FB.
The Washington Post or The New York Times may be perfectly balanced in terms of their coverage of each candidate, but such efforts make no difference when readers are more likely to access individual stories affirming their political biases through their Facebook feeds. (…)There is plenty to criticize in the media’s coverage of Trump, including its uncritical amplification of Trump’s message, at least initially. But there was also plenty of investigative and accountability journalism that presented a complete and critical picture of Trump as a candidate. But power of each individual media outlet is much diminished, so this kind of journalism has considerably less impact.
There are many, many benefits to our current media environment. There is more news and information available more easily than at any time in human history. But there are downsides as well (…) it impossible to analyze and process the information
4. Pelo que…:
What can Facebook do to fix this problem? One simple one would be to hire editors to manage what shows up in its Trending section. Another idea would be to hire a team of journalists and charge them with separating at least the worst of the fake news from the stream, sites that publish too much fraudulent material could be downweighted further or kicked out entirely.
O bom jornalismo persiste, a culpa é toda do FB, vamos curar o FB com bom jornalismo, porque este não pode concorrer com o FB sendo necessário amestrá-lo a partir de uma posição de autoridade. Diz “gatekeepers! gatekeepers! gatekeepers! gatekeepers!”
But whether through a failure of resources, of ideology, or of imagination, Facebook has seemed both uninterested in and incapable of even acknowledging that it has become the most efficient distributor of misinformation in human history (…) insecure about its power, unsure of its purpose, and unclear about what its responsibilities really are.
It seems to me that the problem we face is not a lack of journalism, good or bad, but an overwhelming abundance of it. Fake-news attacks discourse in structurally similar ways to the DDoS attacks that recently crippled internet infrastructure for a day. An overwhelming dose of good journalism, rather than addressing or rebutting lies and hoaxes, would simply add to the cacophony;
I think it’s the way it’s crowbarred open the window of acceptable political discourse, giving rise to communities and ideological alignments that would have been unable to survive in an era where information and political organization were tightly controlled by corporate publishers and Establishment political parties. Put another way, it’s not just that Facebook makes politics worse, it’s that it changes politics entirely.
O problema não é a falta de bom jornalismo, simplesmente demasiado jornalismo. Mais jornalismo não é a solução, a solução é condicionar o jornalismo através de “corporate publishers and establishment political parties”. Não pares: “gatekeepers! gatekeepers! gatekeepers! gatekeepers!”
For most of the 20th century, the flow of information was controlled by a relatively small number of media companies — large newspapers, and, later, the major broadcast networks. These companies were large and generally corporate, Establishment-friendly and politically centrist: They limited, mostly, the acceptable range of political opinion, because that nice middle was where advertising and subscription business models were most profitable. (A) limitation on the supply of information and opinion.
Limitar informação e opinião, portanto: pouco elitista da vossa parte.
Bad Facebook. Bad Facebook! Funny enough, esta necessidade do FB ser domesticado nada tem a ver com o mau momento da imprensa. Recordemos mais detalhes desta crise pré-Trump, e de como a balança entre o print e o digital se equilibra em tempos modernos:
The total number of employees working in the newspaper industry is now lower than those working in the “internet publishing and broadcasting” sector. With digital native websites becoming more prominent the number of journalists at digital native publishers has more than tripled in the past decade. This growth, however, pales in comparison to the number of journalists laid off in the newspaper industry.
Hell, e se tudo o resto falha taxemos os FB! Aquele apelo à regulação que vos mostrámos no último post como podendo ser perigoso? E voilà:
The digital giants are sucking up advertising, which is threatening the viability of newspapers. More pertinently, and much more significantly, it is threatening journalism itself. That’s why I support the impose a 1% levy on the operations of Google and Facebook in order to fund public service reporting.
Digital intermediaries such as Google and Facebook are bleeding the newspaper industry dry by sucking up advertising revenue. As national and local newspapers try to cut their way out of trouble by slashing editorial budgets and shedding staff, journalistic quality is becoming a casualty. Public interest journalism in particular has been hit the hardest as newspapers are lured into a clickbait culture which favours the sensational and the trivial. In the light of this, we propose a 1% levy on the operations of the largest digital intermediaries with the resulting funds redistributed to non-profit ventures with a mandate to produce original local or investigative news reporting. We believe that it is now time for policymakers to address the emergent gaps in the supply of diverse media and to secure the trusted and independent news system that our democracy so desperately needs.
E em sintonia às acusações da maldade sem limites do FB acrescentamos a nossa própria teoria da conspiração. Podemos estar a fazer suposições terrivelmente exageradas, mas se há lugar para elas, um post sobre falsidade no FB é o lugar.
Pista um: em 2014 o FB teve que se retratar por fazer experiências na feed de milhares dos seus utilizadores sem qualquer advertência, para compreender se conseguiam “controlar” os seus sentimentos. A experiência foi um sucesso:
The company in 2014 apologized for a research project where it manipulated the posts on 689,000 users’ home pages to see if it could make them feel more positive or negative emotions. Turns out, it can.
Pista dois: retrocedendo a 2008 e 2010 outra experiência com os seus utilizadores, e novamente com sucesso declararam que conseguiram afectar o nº de votantes nas eleições:
The button made its debut in 2008 as a way for users to signal to their friends that they voted in the national election. But since the 2010 midterm elections, it's been tied to secretive research by the social networking site on whether it can influence voting patterns, "a 61-million-person experiment in social influence and political mobilization." Researchers estimated that in 2010, Facebook ultimately "increased turnout directly by about 60,000 voters and indirectly through social contagion by another 280,000, for a total of 340,000 votes." The 2010 study reached a chilling conclusion: It is possible that more of the .60% growth in turnout between 2006 and 2010 might have been caused by a single message on Facebook.
Pista três: o FB quer muito que algumas pessoas não se esqueçam de votar em 2016:
Facebook triggered a spike in US voter registration
Facebook says it's helped register more than 2 million voters
Por si, as três isoladas não parecem chocar ninguém, mas quando imaginamos que a) conseguem provocar emoções negativas b) conseguem levar as pessoas à cabine de voto e c) conseguem registar aquelas que se escusam ao sistema, o perfil para o vencedor de umas eleições assim manipuladas não vos parece muito fácil de adivinhar?
Anyway, desculpem o desvio, continuando. Terminando. Concluindo. Facebook bad? Tha shit, dude!. Mas o jornalismo como gatekeeper elitista que reclama o seu quinhão de autoridade não nos merece melhor respeito. Suspiram pelos bons velhos tempos e pelos senhores de sempre:
That contraction in the reporting corps, combined with the success of disinformation this year, is making for some sleepless nights for those in Washington who will have to govern in this bifurcated, real-news-fake-news environment. (...) “It’s the biggest crisis facing our democracy, the failing business model of real journalism,” Senator Claire McCaskill told me on Saturday.
Pois... para os senadores de Washington a maior crise da democracia é o falir do modelo tradicional de jornalismo real, não as políticas dos políticos. É difícil não ter aqui alguma simpatia pelo redneck das teorias da conspiração que desconfiam dos media liberais lá em Washington. E passe a hipocrisia: deus sabe que político preza informação transparente e detesta a falta de ingerência e vigilância de uma incessante horda jornalística.
Mesmo que partilhemos da premissa base:
“If you have a society where people can’t agree on basic facts, how do you have a functioning democracy?”
The cure for fake journalism is an overwhelming dose of good journalism.
“People will ultimately gravitate toward sources of information that are truly reliable, and have an allegiance to telling the truth”
… os jornalistas devem não esquecer que a imprensa já responde à voz do dono há demasiado tempo e nada devem às culpas que o FB carrega neste momento do tempo por defeito do seu modelo de negócio: antes já o descontentamento e a suspeita pairavam sobre a profissão e a indústria:
The line of argument that says we need better journalism to combat fake news is appealing. However (...) even where there is accurate journalism, it is not seen or not believed, or both.
In a column just before the election, The New York Times’ Jim Rutenberg argued that “the cure for fake journalism is an overwhelming dose of good journalism.” I wish that were true, but I think the evidence shows that it’s not. There was an enormous amount of good journalism done on Trump and this entire election cycle, from both old-line giants like the Times and The Washington Post and digital natives like BuzzFeed and The Daily Beast. (...) For anyone who wanted to take it in, the pickings were rich. The problem is that not enough people sought it out. And of those who did, not enough of them trusted it to inform their political decisions.
-- que, na prática, é o nosso departure inicial ao jornalismo estabelecido, décadas sem inferência de redes sociais e outras viroses. Infelizmente, como sempre, apenas se questiona o bussiness sense da relação na perspetiva de o optar, não de o suprimir:
In a competitive information and entertainment economy, the quality of journalism (or even the veracity of information) does not guarantee financial success. Fake news and real news are not different types of news; they are completely different categories of activity. But in Facebook’s News Feed, they look the same.
Felizmente, somos optimistas –not!- e vê-se luz ao fim do túnel. Da dualidade objectivo/neutralidade vs. o assumir uma oposição sobre a verdade dos factos que abordamos antes? Poderá voltar a ser uma cena:
20th-century norms around newspaper objectivity were in part a response to business conditions — the desire to create mass local audiences (...) will reporters and editors at these outlets begin to see themselves are more explicitly oppositional? Times executive editor Dean Baquet said last month that a Trump candidacy had given the paper “courage, if you will.
Não somos elitistas, não somos populistas, a framework é mais complexa, e a nossa conclusão não é nem original nem descabida. For fuck’s sake: até a podes ler na imprensa generalista:
It’s been said that we get the media we deserve: that the journalism we see is a reflection of business structures and audience decisions, not the result of an elite’s decisions to shape public opinion. There’s a lot of truth to that. But the information we produce and consume is generated by human beings, not systems, and those human beings have just gotten the shock of their professional lives. If we’re going to build a better environment for news, we need to think about these issues in a much bigger context than one election night. And it’ll take everyone — journalists, readers, tech companies, and more — to make it happen.
...porque, nada disto é novo.
None of this is, in particular, new; the structures of political power have been challenged frequently in the past century, mostly by the arrival of new media — radio, television, cable — that changed the scale of the audience, and, consequently, the political and social culture of the country. Every time a new medium expands the possible audience of mass media, and opens up new spaces for new voices to be heard, it upsets the delicate balances of power that rested upon the previous media structure. You know: If you thought radio changed politics, just wait till television. And if you thought television changed politics, just wait until Facebook really hits its stride. Or. Well. I guess it just did.
“Quem é o árbitro da verdade?”
Fora isso, todos. Quem não o é? Uns chosen few. O discurso não é novo, cada nova revolução tecnológica muda o paradigma vigente e uma adaptação é necessária. A credulidade anterior perdida e transformada numa maior maturidade cultural e agilidade social, nostalgicamente recordada –e-deturpada- pelos que perdem o maior nº de privilégios na ordem cessante. Este é, de resto, o caso pelo digital e bastará um overview histórico de todas as interrupções e irrupções causadas pelo digital nos mais diversos domínios para o provar – mas podes retornar a qualquer tecnologia, pós e pré revolução industrial.
Não é, no entanto, um determinismo histórico ou um destino único: tens que lutar pelo futuro que queres.
Também hoje, no Techcrunch, o resumo perfeito ao dilema do FB:
Right now, Facebook is damned if does allow fake news to spread because it relies on users to think for themselves, but it’s damned if it doesn’t allow fake news to spread because it makes decisions about what to censor that remove the power of choice from its users. The social network will have to choose its next moves carefully.
Para nós, sempre nos pareceu simples – mas desculpem-nos, faz parte da framework geral. Contrariamente ao gang da imprensa, não queremos gatekeepers: queremos explodir os gates. O problema da cacofonia de vozes atribuímos à inocência do contacto com uma tecnologia ainda emergente e, como sempre, cremos que a distribuição descentralizada de informação é o melhor caminho à emancipação da Espécie. O problema da cacofonia de vozes então? Em vez de um Facebook, vários Facebooks descentralizados e distribuídos - melhores settings de privacidade não te vão limpar a timeline de uma plataforma que corre testes nos seus utilizadores sem a sua autorização e que necessita de te vender anúncios para existir. Não aumentará essa repartição a bolha de cada um? Sim, mas. Cada individuo na tua bolha é atestado por alguém da tua confiança e não uma imposição anónima: na tua câmara de eco terás quem mereces.
E não quem paga mais... retornamos ao artigo acima citado:
Because Facebook and some other platforms reward engagement, news outlets are incentivized to frame stories as sensationally as possible. While long-running partisan outlets may be held accountable for exaggeration, newer outlets built specifically to take advantage of virality on networks like Facebook don’t face the same repercussions. They can focus on short-term traffic and ad revenue, and if people get fed up with their content, they can simply reboot with a different brand.
E retornamos ao destaque uns mil caracteres atrás:
“People will ultimately gravitate toward sources of information that are truly reliable, and have an allegiance to telling the truth”
Como tudo se liga de volta aos comics? Deveria ser óbvio: falámos aqui de jornalismo e falsidade, e haveremos de falar de algo que os trespassa a direito. Lembram-se desta?
O fim. Por agora. Até à próxima.
How much of what happens on the platform is a reflection of a political mood and widely held beliefs, simply captured in a new medium, and how much of it might be created, or intensified, by the environment it provides? What is Facebook doing to our politics? Appropriately, the answer to this question can be chosen and shared on Facebook in whichever way you prefer.
Por data, acabaste de ler:
- Inside Facebook’s (Totally Insane, Unintentionally Gigantic, Hyperpartisan) Political-Media Machine
- Look out below: Cuts underway as advertising tumble accelerates
- Overcoming the Threat of Fake News
- The forces that drove this election’s media failure are likely to get worse
- Donald Trump Won Because of Facebook
- Facebook’s failure: did fake news and polarized politics get Trump elected?
- A protest vote against blaming the media for Trump
- Facebook can no longer be ‘I didn’t do it’ boy of global media
- Facebook's fake news: Mark Zuckerberg rejects 'crazy idea' that it swayed voters
- Newspapers big and small are facing an existential crisis
- Journalism’s delivery system, not the coverage itself, is broken
- Facebook Alone Didn’t Create Trump—The Click Economy Did
- Call for the digital giants to fund public service reporting
- Zuckerberg claims 99% of Facebook posts “authentic,” denies fake news there influenced election
- Mark Zuckerberg vows more action to tackle fake news on Facebook
- Employment picture darkens for journalists at digital outlets
- Facebook chose to fight fake news with AI, not just user reports
- Facebook's Fight Against Fake News Was Undercut by Fear of Conservative Backlash
- Google and Facebook's "fake news" ban is a welcome nail in the coffin of "software objectivity"
- Facebook and Google move to kick fake news sites off their ad networks
- u know? I luv u guys, u guys r my bubble...
- that makes u our troll?
- redes sociais
- dark web
Funny: publicado um dia antes das eleições. Tópicos: "Rise of the Trolls", "The Age of Post-Truth Politics", "The Clickbait Election", "Twitter-Sized Attention Spans"
"This election cycle has revealed the deep, dark underbelly of all that technological progress. The same platforms that put a world of facts and information at our fingertips can just as easily be used to undermine basic truths."
Since I started covering politics for WIRED, people have often asked me why a tech publication is writing about politics. It’s a fair question. But considering that email servers, Russian hackers, Twitter trolls, and WikiLeaks now have a prominent role in our electoral system, the more pertinent question seems to me: How could we not?in "The 2016 Election Exposes the Very, Very Dark Side of Tech" 7 nov 2016
- digital first
"It was the main course. It wasn’t leftovers"
Media analysts have worked feverishly to figure out how social media may have altered the outcome of this election. They have pointed to online echo chambers and the proliferation of fake news as the building blocks of Trump’s victory. But the answer may be much simpler. "The big takeaway was using digital in a digital-first way".
The winning candidate was not just willing, but eager to break with traditional models of campaigning. His team invested in new ways of using the digital tools and platforms that have come to dominate the media landscape.in "Here’s How Facebook Actually Won Trump the Presidency" 15 nov 2016