Curated Resource ( ? )

It's the (Democracy-Poisoning) Golden Age of Free Speech | WIRED

It's the (Democracy-Poisoning) Golden Age of Free Speech | WIRED

my notes ( ? )

the capacity to spread ideas ... no longer limited by access to expensive... infrastructure. It’s limited instead by one’s ability to garner and distribute attention. And right now, the flow of the world’s attention is structured... by just a few digital platforms:... tincreasingly stand in for the public sphere itself... at their core... They’re ad brokers...
Humans are a social species, equipped with few defenses ... beyond our ability to acquire knowledge and stay in groups that work together... particularly susceptible to glimmers of novelty, messages of affirmation and belonging, and messages of outrage toward perceived enemies. These kinds of messages are to human community what salt, sugar, and fat are to the human appetite. And Facebook gorges us on them... no nutritional labels...
posts are targeted and delivered privately, screen by screen... Today’s phantom public sphere has been fragmented and submerged into billions of individual capillaries... all of this invalidates much of what we think about free speech—conceptually, legally, and ethically. The most effective forms of censorship today involve meddling with trust and attention, not muzzling speech ... viral or coordinated harassment campaigns, which harness the dynamics of viral outrage to impose an unbearable and disproportionate cost on the act of speaking out... epidemics of disinformation, meant to undercut the credibility of valid information sources. They look like bot-fueled campaigns of trolling and distraction, or piecemeal leaks of hacked materials... swamp the attention of traditional media...
freedom of speech is an important democratic value, but it’s not the only one... usually understood as ... necessary condition for achieving certain other societal ideals... when free speech is treated as an end and not a means, it is all too possible to thwart and distort everything it is supposed to deliver. Creating a knowledgeable public requires at least some workable signals that distinguish truth from falsehood... Today’s engagement algorithms... espouse no ideals about a healthy public sphere...
the core business model underlying the Big Tech platforms—harvesting attention with a massive surveillance infrastructure to allow for targeted, mostly automated advertising at very large scale—is far too compatible with authoritarianism, propaganda, misinformation, and polarization...

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