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Demographically and politically normalised social media

corrected for confirmation bias
  [vote for,

Social media seems to suffer from serious confirmation bias or echo-chamber effect, where an individual's political and / or social views are reinforced by the messages that they view on the display of their network-connected computational device.

Opinion poll companies have now developed quite refined techniques for adjusting the results of polls so as to correct for biases in the sample polled, to bring the results in line with the large-scale demographics of the population as a whole.

Now social media, just like opinion polls, cannot possibly interact with the entire population. But, the number of people that a typical user interacts with is of a similar order of magnitude to the number of persons polled in a typical opinion poll. Further, while some of the interactions on social media are more of the nature of an inner circle of friends, many of them are more distant, where the interaction, discussion, or reading of messages is between people who don't know or recognise each other.

It should be fairly simple to apply the pollsters' methods to filter or pad social media feeds, so that the messages and discussions more closely approximate the range of views found through a population.

pocmloc, Dec 18 2019

Jane, You Ignorant Slut https://www.youtube...watch?v=c91XUyg9iWM
[theircompetitor, Dec 24 2019]


       "Four legs good, two legs better" ?   

       Your species likes, and actively seeks, confirmation bias. Individuals will, for example, buy the Morning Star or the Daily Fascist*, select particular TV and radio stations, and associate with those who share their prejudices.   


       *Any one of a number of tabloid titles run by News International.
8th of 7, Dec 18 2019

       The average of "the Jews are using media to replace the white race" and "anyone who likes the constitution is a Nazi" is not sanity.
Voice, Dec 18 2019

       There's a saying in Russian, loosely translated "what's on a sober man's mind is on a drunkard's tongue". Those who get radicalized are predisposed to it, and I'm skeptical you can unradicalize by media manipulation.   

       Cancel Culture is the first wave, where humans policing humans in their own Stasi type volunteer networks, but ultimately AI will take that role -- once AI can take the role of moderators, speech on commercially available networks, at least, will moderate significantly   

       It's an interesting dynamic for Jews who face increased anti-semitism from left and right. In the States they've had a slight drift right in response to the left's support of the boycott, but it's a very nervous drift, and likely primarily in the older generation
theircompetitor, Dec 18 2019

       // not sanity //   

       Can you point out to us where it's written down that you have to be actually sane to participate in "society" ?   

       In fact, in politics it's probably a real disadvantage.
8th of 7, Dec 18 2019

       Just to agree with & follow up on 8th's point. I was once engaged in conversation by a rather senior official of my acquaintance who expressed surprise in seeing me exiting a newsagent shop carrying a copy of the Daily Telegraph. His surprise was understandable as he had driven through my picket line only a few weeks earlier.

In response, I pointed out to him that I already knew what *I* thought about things & that I read the Torygraph in order to find out what the opposing view was.

Regarding the idea, I am against 'normalising' anything. Views expressed in social media are no more representative of the general population than mine are. "Normalising" them doesn't get you any closer to describing the real-world than the current opinion polls. It just eliminates from view any opinions that go against the accepted 'norm'. Stalin would be proud.
DrBob, Dec 23 2019

       Proud ? He'd be suing for breach of copyright ...   

       You should wait until the New Year, [DrB]; in his budget, Boris will be looking to splash some of the Brexit Divident on boosting the funding for the Ministry of Truth. After all, he can spend a lot of money on trying to improve the NHS, and fail - or spend much less money convincing voters that it's better, even though it isn't.   

       The Truth Is Out There ...
8th of 7, Dec 23 2019

       Agreed. The truth isn't all it's cracked up to be, is it!
DrBob, Dec 23 2019

       <Colonel Jessip>   

       "The truth ? You can't handle the truth* ! "   

       </Colonel Jessip>   

       *Which is literally true, because "truth" is an abstract philosophical concept with no physical reality.
8th of 7, Dec 23 2019

       //what heavily sanitised PC comedy is//
Heavily sanitised PC comedy is what is on on BBC1 on Saturday night, or on American chat shows. You do not have to look that hard to find examples of it.
//is laughing still ok in those circles or is it triggering//
ah ok, you were actually talking about something else entirely...

       My grand unified theory of comedy is that there are two types of stand up comedy, or rather there are two ends of the stand up comedy spectrum.   

       The first end is the type of comedy where the comedian makes an effort to say the sort of thing that the the audience will recognise and agree with. This is the root of observational comedy (also know as observation) and there are forty billion examples of it, including the dread prancing laugh- vacuum that is Michael McIntyre and the generally consistently amusing Kevin Bridges. Paradoxically, it is also the root of shock comedy, as the purpose of shock comedy is to amuse the audience by fulfilling their expectation that they will hear things that the audience know would be objectionable to the "out group". This would include Frankie Boyle and also worthless cunts like Dankula.   

       The other end is the type of comedy where the comedian makes an effort to say the sort of thing that the audience does not expect and the audience laughs as a result of its being wrong footed, or of their brains being unexpectedly exercised. I would put Spike Milligan towards this end of the spectrum in this category, as well as people like Hannah Gadsby (who, for the record, I don't find particularly funny).   

       So, both ends of the spectrum can host unpleasant shit (Dankula's witless fash-pandering and Milligan's racism being clear examples) but in my view it is harder to push racist / sexist / exclusionary themes at the second end of the spectrum as this end of the spectrum requires either a completely gonzo disconnection from society or a pretty strong consideration of the expectations of the audience (and so also of the wider world) in order to work. And the more you think about these sorts of things, the less funny exclusionary approaches become. The issue is that the second spectrum- end is just harder to pull off, and so there are fewer comedians operating at this end and fewer still able to pull it off and be funny.   

       [The third end of the spectrum is people being kicked in the balls, which will never not be funny but very few stand ups kick themselves in the balls. More's the pity.]   

1. Dankula et al are obvious and lazy, their punchlines (such as they are) can be seen coming a mile off.
2. "PC comedy" is generally harder to make funny.
calum, Dec 24 2019

       One of the most gratifying sorts of comic is the type that make the PC brigade squirm; for example, the genuinely wheelchair-bound comic who introduced himself at the Edinburgh Fringe as "A sit-down comic. I wanted to be a stand-up comic but I can't ..."   

       He had the previous performer deliberately leave the mic stand set very high, so he couldn't reach it, then looked at the audience and shrugged helplessly. Then he told lots of jokes about disability and life in a wheelchair ...
8th of 7, Dec 24 2019

       Did that person actually make the PC brigade squirm (ans: no)? Or, perhaps more pertinently, does the PC brigade actually exist (ans: no) and if it does exist, does it go the Fringe (ans: no)? I am v much in favour of comedians making people uncomfortable. The example you provided would, in my grand unified theory, as assessed by me, fall towards the second end of the spectrum.   

       As to the idea, I would be agog if it were not possible - facebook need only invert the political ad targeting: the existence of a user profile implies the existence of that user's anti-profile.
calum, Dec 24 2019

       // I am v much in favour of comedians making people uncomfortable. //   

       It was "observational" comedy, derived from personal experience; very funny, yet cringe-making.
8th of 7, Dec 24 2019

       I fear you are attempting to reject my grand uniform theory of comedy and instead supplant your own. I would be interested to hear your theory (though not subscribe to your newsletter, thanks though). I think that between us we should able to sort out what is funny (or, more accurately, what funny is) and get the UN to ratify it.
calum, Dec 24 2019

       Quantum comedy is probably a Thing ...
8th of 7, Dec 24 2019

       //Views expressed in social media are no more representative of the general population than mine are.//   

       Well exactly, that is the whole point of this idea. The vast majority of views expressed on social media are socially and/or politically extreme in many different directions. However there are enough different directions and enough different individuals that there is also a large number (though nowhere near as large) of messages that are neutral, bland, irrelevant or even just normal.   

       I think there are enough different people spouting enough different views that it should be possible (within the limits of granularity) to approximate any given worldview or any given spread of worldviews. What I mean by "normalising" is the selection and/or filtering of discrete messages so that their aggregate approximates a representative sample of the true, assumed or modelled aggregate of the totality of beliefs and worldviews in a given population.   

       How many messages are posted per day? How many messages does a typical user see each day? What proportion of those viewed messages need to be substituted out, to make the aggregate range of opinions and worldviews approximate the population distribution of opinions and worldviews?   

       Should this be implemented silently behind the scenes, as a kind of social engineering of the masses, or should it be explicitly opt-in?
pocmloc, Dec 24 2019

       // The vast majority of views expressed on social media are socially and/or politically extreme //   

       This I think would self-qualify.   

       Vast majority are not extreme. They're more of the "Jane, you ignorant slut" variety.
theircompetitor, Dec 24 2019

       She sounds nice, do you have her phone number ?   

       // approximates a representative sample of the true, assumed or modelled aggregate of the totality of beliefs and worldviews in a given population. //   

       ... i.e. the ones that post on social media, rather than the ones that just lurk and read, and the ones that don't bother at all.   

       Besides, once you publish the results, Heisenberg will step in ...
8th of 7, Dec 24 2019

       That's an interesting question, whether calling someone an ignorant slut is or is not socially extreme.   

       //Heisenberg// I think I blocked him ages ago. I'm not certain, though.
pocmloc, Dec 24 2019

       I would think that even if you presume socially means social as in social network, it doesn't. Overthrow of the social order, on the other hand...
theircompetitor, Dec 24 2019

       There's also the question of what counts as expressing a view, or a view expressed. One could propose that calling someone an ignorant slut does not actually express a view, and is merely social grooming behaviour.
pocmloc, Dec 24 2019

       Of course social grooming is a form of expression. Approval and disapproval are entirely legitimate.
Voice, Dec 25 2019

       //What's that ? I think I can smell shite ... *sniff* *sniff* ... Ah yes, definitely shite. //
oh yes - I wrote it!
calum, Dec 25 2019

       But what about hipsters who dislike anything popular?
sninctown, Feb 19 2020


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