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HOW TO KILL A TIDAL WAVE: SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE REPUTATIONAL APOCALYPSE

TwitBotFebruary 1, 2019

If you ever wanted to see an example of why it is so hard to manage reputations in today’s world of clickbait, professional outrage machines and judgements made at the speed of scrolling, then you don’t have to look any further than the recent media furore over the altercation between the students from Covington Catholic High School, Mr. Nathan Phillips and members of the Black Hebrew Israelites.

Consider it; the entire trans-Atlantic media repeatedly paused to pass comment on a strange, harmless altercation. This wasn’t just tabloid tattle; eighteen individual articles appeared in the New York Times over a five-day period alone.

It’s an extraordinary glimpse into the distorting impact that Twitter’s algorithms and interaction model. A post wins the game of Twitter when it is shared quickly, and a way to disagree without sharing means that controversial comments are the fastest to spread. This is a system open to manipulation.

In this case, a mysterious account named @2020fight shared its outrage over the video, earning 2,500,000 views.  An impressive haul for any account.  Even one that tweets 130 times a day, every day.  Well, until it was suspended by Twitter, fuelling speculation that Russian Intelligence ran @2020fight to funnel outrage and division into the American consciousness.  Just a small soldier in the fight to undermine wider American morale and cohesion.  By the time @2020fight was caught, it was too late.  The story was appearing on the Twitter homefeed of the journalists, the agenda was set, and The New York Times was busy writing the first of 18 consecutive articles.  All for a story that didn’t matter enough to risk the future and safety of a child.

Read full article: Mark Borkowski

   

MANAGEMENT

links to article finding better resolutions to conflicts

For most of us Canucks, conflict avoidance is about as Canadian as a double-double or the CBC.  That’s because most of us typically don’t have the skills necessary to engage in conflict in healthy ways.  Avoid no more!  Read full article for a play-by-play for the five types of conflict resolution better than Don Cherry could offer.

   

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Thomas Berry, author
   
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