When The Dust Settles

When The Dust Settles
Digitally Lit #267 – 11/7/2020

Welcome back to Digitally Literate. Thanks for showing up this week. You are appreciated.

This week I worked on the following:

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The Most Searched: A Celebration of Black History Makers

See the full methodology behind the film and explore more here.


What if Facebook Is the Real ‘Silent Majority’?

Since the 2016 election, Kevin Roose, tech columnist for the NY Times, has been using CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned data tool that offers a bird’s-eye view of what’s popular on the social network. You can check out @FacebooksTop10, a Twitter account Roose created that shows the top 10 most-interacted-with link posts by U.S. Facebook pages every day.

Most days, the leader board looks roughly the same: conservative post after conservative post, with the occasional liberal interloper.
Conservative political influencers have spent years building a well-oiled media machine that swarms around every major news story, creating a torrent of viral commentary that reliably drowns out both the mainstream media and the liberal opposition.

The result is a kind of parallel media universe that left-of-center Facebook users may never encounter, but that has been stunningly effective in shaping its own version of reality.

Facebook Has A Metric For “Violence And Incitement Trends.” It’s Rising.

The metric, which assesses the potential for danger based on keywords, rose to 580 from 400 this week — a 45% increase.

Nina Jankowicz, a disinformation researcher and fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, said she wasn’t aware Facebook had a metric for “violence and incitement” trends and was heartened that they were tracking it. Still, she said, suppression of individual hashtags “is not going to do the trick.”

“We’re talking about the broader structure of Facebook that incentivizes these communities to organize and foster offline violence,” Jankowicz said. “I’m not sure they have a handle on it at all. It’s a structure that they’re relying on to keep people engaged and make money these days.”

Schrödinger’s Ballot Box

Great post from Laura Jimenez.

So, what are you going to do about that when the dust settles?
How are you going to work to learn and unlearn and teach your family, your students, or your colleagues to see and read in new ways?

Leaders may change. The problems remain. Do the work.

A New Hippocratic Oath Asks Doctors To Fight Racial Injustice And Misinformation

In addition to reciting the traditional Hippocratic Oath during the White Coat Ceremony on Aug. 16, the members of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Class of 2024 started a new tradition by writing their own class oath to acknowledge their ever-evolving responsibilities as physicians.

What responsibility do leaders have as they post and interact in society?

I’m wondering if a corrolary for this type of oath exists for educators and researchers…

Greta Thunberg Hears Your Excuses. She Is Not Impressed.

An interview with Greta Thunberg on the release of the “I Am Greta” documentary on Hulu.

Her compelling clarity about the scale of the crisis and moral indignation at the inadequate political response have been hugely influential in shifting public opinion.

We still need to communicate the positive things, but above that we need to communicate reality. In order to be able to change things we need to understand where we are at. We can’t spread false hope. That’s practically not a very wise thing to do. Also, it’s morally wrong that people are building on false hope.


Inclusive Design Un-Guide

I’m planning on following (writing along with) this project. I hope you’ll join me.

Each month, a pair of provocateurs will post a new provocation and invite you to reflect, react, and respond. You’ll find the provocations on the home page of this site. You can participate by reflecting on the provocation and making something in response. You may choose to share your response with other participants (if sharing on social media, we encourage using the hashtag #InclusiveDesignUnGuide, or you may prefer not to share. Either way is fine. For more info, check out the FAQ page.



Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

Barack Obama

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