AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

Posted by Ben Gregson on August 6, 2014

gazaconflictinfographic

Gilad Lotan, chief scientist at betaworks and author of the blog i love data, has created a new data visualization that shows how the biggest source of misinformation about the conflict in Gaza is ourselves. While the polarizing phenomenon of open media isn’t new– the idea that we are provided so much media from so many nuanced sources, and we choose which ones to read and believe based on pre-existing beliefs– its negative effects can be multiplied dramatically when there is a major crisis that may depend on the world’s perception, and how they lend their support.

When different media is reporting different truths, or excluding specific aspects of the truth, or simply not reporting the truth at all, we are creating a false world for ourselves, but one that we believe. Conviction can drive people to do incredible things, but false conviction can be incredibly dangerous. I have no hypothesis for how this will affect Palestine, but I’m really afraid of a world that is so polarized around disparate facts and figures that they can both believe they are right, when both are misinformed.

Lotan goes into great depth on his blog about how Israel, Palestine and the U.S. are all getting very different perceptions through the media, both official and social. It’s insane how many separate worlds the Internet can create, when we really only have the one.

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