Digitally Literate #198

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We’ve got this all wrong
Digitally Lit #198 – 5/18/2019

Hi all, my name is Ian O’Byrne and welcome to Digitally Literate. In this newsletter, I try to synthesize what happened this week so you can be digitally literate as well.

I posted a couple of things this week:


Measles outbreak spread through fake news (4:51)

Fake news is playing a huge role in the measles outbreak that’s broken a 25-year-old record for measles cases in 2019. This video from Al Jazeera+ interviews members of the Hasidic community in New York to see how they have been affected.


Publics in Emerging Economies Worry Social Media Sow Division, Even as They Offer New Chances for Political Engagement

Excellent new report from the Pew Research Center on the topic of misinformation in our news and social feeds.

The research documents the risks and benefits identified by adults in 11 emerging countries as they engage with digital media and networked spaces. The results suggest these tools and spaces allow for connection and empowerment, but also higher risk of manipulation.

Succinctly put, the prevailing view in the surveyed countries is that mobile phones, the internet and social media have collectively amplified politics in both positive and negative directions –simultaneously making people more empowered politically and potentially more exposed to harm.

7 Interesting Things We Learned When We Asked the World About Misinformation Online

In a separate piece of research, Mozilla surveyed nearly 60,000 people globally about online misinformation. The raw data is available at the bottom of the post linked above.

Here’s the top points they’ve identified from the findings:

  • All over the world, people are very or extremely concerned about online misinformation.
  • The percentage of respondents who said they hadn’t seen misinformation online recently was small.
  • Most people are familiar with the term fake news. The term disinformation was not as familiar to people.
  • Even though the vast majority of respondents say they are concerned about the spread of misinformation online, they are also still mostly optimistic that something can be done about the problem.
  • When it comes to whose job it is to tackle the online misinformation problem, people all over the world view the platforms (Facebook, Google, YouTube, etc) as bearing the bulk of the responsibility.
  • Not only do most people think it’s the platforms’ responsibility to fix the online misinformation problem, most people think the platforms are the ones best equipped to fix this problem.
  • When we asked people what would be most useful to help them tackle misinformation online, overwhelmingly respondents pointed to education—86%.

Under Surveillance: Privacy, Rights, and Those Capitalizing On Us

Great post by Laura Pasquini examining the challenges around privacy and identity in digital spaces. Pasquini indicates that this post is a continuation of her thinking around surveillance capitalism and her control of her data. This post is also a response after her reading of Shoshana Zuboff ‘s latest book, _The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power.

I appreciate Laura’s documentation of her thinking about data, identity, and privacy. The post also shares a number of resources (readings, podcasts) that I’ll dive in to over the summer to think more deeply about this topic.

Because of You Someone’s Entire Life Can Change: A Wonderful Anti-Bullying Campaign

Because of You is an anti-bullying campaign by the Ad Council that encourages teenagers to use compassion, self-reflection, and mindfulness when interacting with people. They get the message across by using various videos of teens sharing their experiences, from those who get bullied, to the ones that help them.

This is a great resource to share with others. It is also an example of ways to build a network across multiple social media networks…as well as online and offline.

A Massive New Study of 347,077 People Just Revealed Exactly How Much Coffee You Should Drink Each Day. (Before the Health Dangers Outweigh the Benefits)

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Five cups of coffee per day.


7 ways to know if your sacrifices are worth it

Some points for reflection in the Tiny Buddha blog.

  • What you’re doing aligns with your values
  • You’re living your own version of success
  • You’re not trading happiness today for the hope of happiness tomorrow
  • You could be satisfied with your choice even if you didn’t reach your ideal outcome
  • You’re still able to meet your needs, despite your sacrifices
  • You only or mostly question your sacrifices when you compare yourself to other people
  • Your current path brings you meaning

What sacrifices do you make? Why do you make them?

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Awareness requires a rupture with the world we take for granted; then old categories of experience are called into question and revised.

Shoshana Zuboff

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This remix of Daenerys storming of King’s Landing to Metallica’s For Whom the Bell Tolls was the perfect end to this week.

Digitally Literate is a summary of all the great stuff from the Internet this week in technology, education, & literacy. Follow along here.

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1 comment

  1. Aaron Davis
    May 18, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    Ian, not sure whose sort of secret link at the end I like more. Yours or Dr. Doug’s? Loved the overdub with Metallica. Fitting.

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