The New Deal was partly motivated by a desire to kill the fake news epidemic of the Gilded Age

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/01/07/absentee-owners.html

3 Likes

Isn’t this how we wound up with the “bubbles” and echo chambers we currently have? And I don’t think mediation is so much the problem as bad mediation - where the rules are obscure, applied arbitrarily, and have no good appeal process.

3 Likes

This assumes that people only talk to others who agree with them because thats what they want from providers. A more nuanced view would take into account the provider’s agenda. It’s ad sales driving revenue, not subscription fees.

6 Likes

were able to trump the profit motives

I think it’s time to retire that word.

3 Likes

Or at least repurpose (or reclaim) it.

1 Like

Well there’s an aspect of the Gilded Age and the eventual end of it I hadn’t considered. Lovely.

5 Likes

Yes, Teddy Rooseveldt was a Republican, but the Republican party was progressive and reforming a hundred years ago - more so than today’s Democrats. Since the Reagan years the U.S. has been increasingly pro-rich-guys, and surprise! the rich now have tighter control over what we read and see than ever before. In part that’s because they have experts who have decades of research behind their efforts to manipulate us, instead of the more guesswork-based manipulation of a hundred years ago.

4 Likes

Over the past 40 years, Republicans have been actively pushing for a return to the “good old days” of the Gilded Age and for a repudiation of FDR and the New Deal. This is the year when we decide if the greedpigs finally get what they want.

9 Likes

This was touched on near the beginning of Citizen Kane, in which a newsreel briefly summarized the rise and decline of Kane’s media Empire. (And of course Kane was a thinly-veiled dramatization of William Randolph Hearst).

8 Likes

6 Likes

I agree with @anansi133 that the greater problem is that our current platforms for conversation answer to advertisers, rather than their audiences. But you’re not wrong that niche platforms lead to information bubbles.

If advertising were banned tomorrow, that wouldn’t eliminate the likes of the Murdoch press; in fact a lot of News Corp organs are already paywalled. And if subscription-funded local news became a big part of everyone’s media diet, a lot of those organs would no doubt be parochial and small-minded. Bigotry would still exist, and people would still prefer news that reinforces, rather than challenges, their views.

We can only have a rational, well-informed populace insofar as the populace chooses to be well-informed. But first, people need to have that choice, and at the moment we really don’t. Once we have a diverse media landscape, with thousands of different voices coming from every place people come from, then we can try to build wider conversations on top of that.

3 Likes

I suspect that holding Murdoch and his top associates responsible for the destruction of the United States may assist in the process of resolving the issue, though.

I honestly don’t know if Fox News was designed to make money and a side effect was destroying the United States, or if it was designed to destroy the United States and made money as a side effect; but either way…

No. The desire to sell ads created those bubbles, they’re a side effect of optimization for ad revenue.

2 Likes

Look at how local news sources, mostly newspapers, are fairing. They are dying, and it’s not due to the internet. It’s the Sinclair-ization of local news, where people have lost trust due to the distortion caused by politically-biased, centrally-controlled monopolies. The good news is that it is reversible.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.