Manipulating information, media, and news has always been a human problem. Since the first printed words (and probably before) people with good and bad intentions have practiced the art and science of bending perception and twisting opinion.
We’ve taken a look back at the “conversation” as it unfolded around the hashtag #SOTU. On January 30, 2018, we saved 9 maps between 4:55 pm to 6:15 pm PST. This represented 1800 total tweets generated by 659 unique profiles. We then reduced our data set to 182 profiles with no geographic identifiers, and asked if they have anything in common or what pattern might emerge?
Happy understates how we felt reading the New York Times feature “The Follower Factory.” And before this article, we have to acknowledge feeling the same way about the work of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism,“Astroturfing, Twitterbots, Amplification — Inside the Online Influence Industry.”
While 2017 is behind us, many of the past years troubling themes are not. We’ve seen investigations into Russia's interference in the US Presidential Election unfold, CEOs of digital platforms being questioned about how their contributing to the information crisis, along media outlets and information itself being deemed untrustworthy. With few solutions in sight, 2018 is likely to see more of the same.
He’s real, unashamed, and inescapable. Search #antivax, and you can’t miss @HealthRanger. He’s like the poster-boy for pseudo-science. But we’re not focusing attention on him. Buzzfeed reporter Stephanie M. Lee offers an insightful look — Inside the Anti-Science Forces of the Internet.