Home

Opinion Today

Leave a comment

Source: Opinion Today

Many of the things that keep our democracy healthy don’t appear in the Constitution or any federal law. President Obama made this point Monday when talking about an orderly transition from one presidency to the next:
“It’s not something that the Constitution explicitly requires but it is one of those norms that are vital to a functioning democracy, similar to norms of civility and tolerance and a commitment to reason and facts and analysis.”
The last few words of that sentence were the ones that caught my attention, and I started thinking about them again after reading an Op-Ed by Zeynep Tufekci.
Tufekci, a University of North Carolina professor, makes the case that Facebook is in denial about its role in spreading misinformation. During the presidential campaign, Facebook helped spread falsehoods — the Pope endorsed Trump! — to millions of people. Those falsehoods appeared in fake news articles, and Facebook did nothing to inform their users that the material in them was simply made up.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, has said it’s “pretty crazy” to believe that fake news influences people in any significant way, but Tufekci persuasively lays out evidence to the contrary. Multiple studies have shown — and common sense backs up — that Facebook influences opinions and behavior.
“These are not easy problems to solve, but there is a lot Facebook could do,” Tufekci wrote. “When the company decided it wanted to reduce spam, it established a policy that limited its spread.” The step that Facebook announced Monday— refusing to display advertisements in fake stories — isn’t sufficient.
The media is in the midst of a historical transition right now. Some old news sources are shrinking or disappearing, and others — many of which rely on Facebook — are rising. There is nothing wrong with this change. Our country has survived the fading of news powerhouses, like the Saturday Evening Post, Life magazine and live radio broadcasts, before.
But whatever forms the new information sources take, they do need to provide “reason and facts,” neither of which is partisan. A healthy democracy depends on it. As Thomas Jefferson said, the people need “full information of their affairs.” Zuckerberg, by believing that Facebook is staying neutral, has in fact made a damaging choice.
The full Opinion report from The Times follows, including Geoff Dembicki on generational war and climate change.
David Leonhardt
Op-Ed Columnist.  NY Times

 

When it comes to democracy, Egyptians hate the player but Tunisians hate the game – The Washington Post

Leave a comment

The Arab uprisings had a surprisingly small effect on attitudes of ordinary citizens towards democracy, likely because the uprisings were not really about democracy in the first place.

Source: When it comes to democracy, Egyptians hate the player but Tunisians hate the game – The Washington Post

Many hoped the protests associated with the Arab uprisings would unleash a democratic wave in the region, sweeping out autocrats who had withheld political voice from generations of Arabs. Yet rather than producing liberalized polities, with the possible exception of Tunisia, the uprisings primarily led to either devastating civil conflict or the resurgence of authoritarian regimes.

How have these events affected how Arab publics think about democracy? Has the nearly universal failure of the uprisings to yield democracy lead citizens to give up on democracy as a system of governance? My forthcoming article in the Journal of Democracy, argues that the uprisings had a surprisingly small effect on attitudes of ordinary citizens toward democracy — likely because the uprisings were not really about democracy in the first place. However, it also finds some notable shifts in public opinion, particularly in Egypt and Tunisia.

Kerry urges steps to ensure democracy in Africa – The Washington Post

1 Comment

Kerry urges steps to ensure democracy in Africa – The Washington Post.

 

“ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — America’s top diplomat said Saturday the U.S. is ready to help increase its ties with Africa, but nations across the continent need to take stronger steps to ensure security and democracy for its people.

 

He called for an expansion of American investment in Africa and noted that U.S. companies IBM, Microsoft and Google already have spent more than $100 million on projects across the continent.  “So this is clearly a moment of opportunity for all Africans,” Kerry told about 100 Ethiopians at an environmentally-friendly auditorium on a mountaintop…”

 

Capitalism vs. Democracy – NYTimes.com

Leave a comment

Capitalism vs. Democracy – NYTimes.com.

Thomas Piketty’s new book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” described by one French newspaper as a “a political and theoretical bulldozer,” defies left and right orthodoxy by arguing that worsening inequality is an inevitable outcome of free market capitalism.

Piketty, a professor at the Paris School of Economics, does not stop there. He contends that capitalism’s inherent dynamic propels powerful forces that threaten democratic societies…

Bring Your Own Brain

How to make the best use of your neck-top computer.

MindYoga4U

A Site To Learn More About Meditation And Yoga

Aji’s Portal

For creative writing and cogitation on empowerment and enlightenment.

The Cerebral Hedonist

"Can You Match My Resolve"

Delusional Bubble

Your travel guide to the fantastic unknown places around the world.

Anil Blon

Director at Natraj Trekking

The Truth for Kyle Brennan

The Church of Scientology & the Death of Kyle Brennan

MAJAALIFEE

I love to write about everything. Writing relaxes me.

TORINO NELLA RETE

Luigi Bacco - fotografie inaspettate

My Life Treats

Its about everything

Mikki Senkarik

Original Oil Paintings in Progress

Journeys with Eileen Diane

Photos, travel, armchair travel, cat tales, random thoughts

What's on Sid's mind

Recollect. Reimagine. Express.

ThoughtsnLifeBlog

Change your thoughts change your life

Something to Ponder About

Lifestyle, Photography and Traditional Art

365 dni w obiektywie LG/Samsunga

365 days a lens LG/Samsung

The Creative Flux

Architectural, interior and garden design, cool materials and resources, and other things that matter to me

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: