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13 minutes ago, Pariah said:

Serious question: Is there a transcript? I thought it was a summary.

 

True, it's a summary, but it's apparently not been heavily edited - though it may have been edited in a way to exclude a few choice or important words.  I only judge this because the criticism of it by one of the reports is that there are 'a few words missing'.  I'd be curious if there was a huge difference in actual content (besides a few critical points, perhaps?).

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Andrew Marantz is the author of the new book "Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, And The Hijacking Of The American Conversation." Andrew Marantz, welcome to FRESH AIR. Your book is...

 

I hope this attempt to copy and paste a link works. If not, Google Fresh Air Antisocial Marantz.

 

Summary: NPR program Fresh Air interviews New Yorker reporter Andrew Marantz about his new book Antisocial: Internet Extremists, echno-Utopians and the Hijacking of the American Conversation. Marantz spent a year closely observing the alt-right and seeing how they, to use their own words, "memed Donald Trump into the White House." He describes the ease with which white supremacists use social media to manipulate mass media. Case study: the "Is Hillary Sick?" story. A group comes up with the speculation that Hillary Clinton has Parkinson's based on, what, how she blinks in a snippet of video? They retweet it back and forth. Twitter dutifully reports this as trending, even though it's all within a small echo chamber. This brings it to the notice of Breitbart or the Drudge Report, which spreads the story. So Fox News picks it up. So everybody picks it up -- and even if a "mainstream" media outlet concludes there's nothing there, the story nevertheless gets repeated. Presto: A thousand people plant an idea in hundreds of millions of minds.

 

Marantz particularly takes Mark Zuckerberg to task for his refusal to take any responsibility for how Facebook is exploited, though Zuckerberg is emblematic of a wider attitude. He notes that when Zuckerberg talks about the importance of free speech, don't censor anyone for any reason, he keeps his arguments completely abstract and divorced from real events and the real choices they bring.

 

(Anyone seriously interested in these issues should read "Areopagitica," by John Milton -- yes, that John Milton. He wrote his argument at a time when Europe's wars of religion still raged. Books were genuinely dangerous, and it took a lot of courage to accept that danger. But Milton also argued that books could be criminal and destructive just as people were -- and like human criminals, they should be suppressed once their criminality was proved beyond a reasonable doubt. I think this standard can apply when people use social media to whip up murderous mobs, as has happened in India and Myanmar.)

 

One interesting point Marantz reports: The people he studied don't back Trump so much anymore. They figure he's given them as much as he will. Instead a lot of them back Tulsi Gabbard, as the most radical candidate who isn't Trump. They particularly like her extreme anti-war stance: Perhaps oddly, a lot of the alt-righters Marantz studied came to their positions through extreme pacifism, or at least an anti-war isolationism.

 

It's an interesting talk, and I recommend it.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Kentucky GOP governor Bevin has actually conceded the election he lost a few days ago, apparently after the electorate blew up the state GOP’s phones when they realized he was going to try to contest it. 
 

Oh, and there was another school shooting because America. 

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31 minutes ago, Old Man said:

Kentucky GOP governor Bevin has actually conceded the election he lost a few days ago, apparently after the electorate blew up the state GOP’s phones when they realized he was going to try to contest it. 
 

Oh, and there was another school shooting because America. 

 

I'm hearting the Kentucky thing, certainly not the latter thing.  😕

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