Connect with us

Social Media

Capitol Riot Was Only A Matter Of Time, Say Experts at South by Southwest

Derek Shumway

Published

on

Screenshot taken from the South by Southwest event 

March 16, 2021 – The ease with which social media companies have allowed fringe groups to organize, egged on by then-President Donald Trump himself, made the January 6 Capitol riot an inevitability, experts on a South by Southwest panel said Tuesday.

Brandy Zadrozny, investigative reporter NBC News, said the radicalization of online groups causing real world harm is not new, but said what is new is that “half of America seemed to get radicalized really, really, quickly.”

Niche pockets containing militia, Q-Anon conspiracy theorists, and anti-vaccination spaces grew and burst in conversation. “It was inevitable that [the Capital riot] was going to happen,” she said, adding she was on the speakerphone with a colleague “just holding our breaths, waiting for it to happen.”

Social media culpability

“It’s hard to know when we actually got into this space,” when talking about the incredible rise of online conspiracies and disinformation, Zadrozny said.

She argued that these groups were given a safe space to foment dissent, hatred and division for many months. The result was a bubble of tensions ready to burst, she added.

The panelists pointed toward Facebook’s Groups feature, where users can create and join groups of special interest to them, as a leading culprit behind the tools and resources used by the violent protestors and online conspiracist groups that formed. These groups allowed fake news to proliferate behind walls that journalists could not see, said Ben Collins, reporter at NBC News. He added people are now disputing long-held facts about things around them.

Predicting insurrection

Zadrozny was not alone in the panel in predicting the insurrection as a result of growing online misinformation or other fake news sources. John Sands, director of learning and impact at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, said he also saw it coming and tried to raise the alarm about the incoming insurrection.

He said it feels like being “chicken little” when trying “to get people to understand that things are getting worse when things are already quite bad.” Sands blamed the insurrection on “a lack of seriousness on the part of government institutions.”

What confounds Joan Donovan, research director at the Shorenstein Center on media, politics, and public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, is that the GOP did not recognize that the violent protestors were part of their base. She said that former President Trump was a “cudgel” to the GOP as one who would “bring a religious holy war.”

Born in China and adopted to American Fork, Utah, Reporter Derek Shumway graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor's degree in political science and a minor in international strategy and diplomacy. At college, he started an LED lightbulb company.

Social Media

Josh Hawley Wants To Break Up Big Tech And Revisit How Antitrust Matters Are Considered

Senator Josh Hawley talks Section 230, antitrust reform, and the Capitol riots.

Benjamin Kahn

Published

on

Josh Hawley, right, via Flickr

March 16, 2021 – The ease with which social media companies have allowed fringe groups to organize, egged on by then-President Donald Trump himself, made the January 6 Capitol riot an inevitability, experts on a South by Southwest panel said Tuesday.

Brandy Zadrozny, investigative reporter NBC News, said the radicalization of online groups causing real world harm is not new, but said what is new is that “half of America seemed to get radicalized really, really, quickly.”

Niche pockets containing militia, Q-Anon conspiracy theorists, and anti-vaccination spaces grew and burst in conversation. “It was inevitable that [the Capital riot] was going to happen,” she said, adding she was on the speakerphone with a colleague “just holding our breaths, waiting for it to happen.”

Social media culpability

“It’s hard to know when we actually got into this space,” when talking about the incredible rise of online conspiracies and disinformation, Zadrozny said.

She argued that these groups were given a safe space to foment dissent, hatred and division for many months. The result was a bubble of tensions ready to burst, she added.

The panelists pointed toward Facebook’s Groups feature, where users can create and join groups of special interest to them, as a leading culprit behind the tools and resources used by the violent protestors and online conspiracist groups that formed. These groups allowed fake news to proliferate behind walls that journalists could not see, said Ben Collins, reporter at NBC News. He added people are now disputing long-held facts about things around them.

Predicting insurrection

Zadrozny was not alone in the panel in predicting the insurrection as a result of growing online misinformation or other fake news sources. John Sands, director of learning and impact at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, said he also saw it coming and tried to raise the alarm about the incoming insurrection.

He said it feels like being “chicken little” when trying “to get people to understand that things are getting worse when things are already quite bad.” Sands blamed the insurrection on “a lack of seriousness on the part of government institutions.”

What confounds Joan Donovan, research director at the Shorenstein Center on media, politics, and public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, is that the GOP did not recognize that the violent protestors were part of their base. She said that former President Trump was a “cudgel” to the GOP as one who would “bring a religious holy war.”

Continue Reading

Social Media

Oversight Board Upholds Trump’s Ban From Facebook

The Oversight Board has sent the decision back to Facebook management, criticizing it for setting a “standardless” penalty.

Benjamin Kahn

Published

on

March 16, 2021 – The ease with which social media companies have allowed fringe groups to organize, egged on by then-President Donald Trump himself, made the January 6 Capitol riot an inevitability, experts on a South by Southwest panel said Tuesday.

Brandy Zadrozny, investigative reporter NBC News, said the radicalization of online groups causing real world harm is not new, but said what is new is that “half of America seemed to get radicalized really, really, quickly.”

Niche pockets containing militia, Q-Anon conspiracy theorists, and anti-vaccination spaces grew and burst in conversation. “It was inevitable that [the Capital riot] was going to happen,” she said, adding she was on the speakerphone with a colleague “just holding our breaths, waiting for it to happen.”

Social media culpability

“It’s hard to know when we actually got into this space,” when talking about the incredible rise of online conspiracies and disinformation, Zadrozny said.

She argued that these groups were given a safe space to foment dissent, hatred and division for many months. The result was a bubble of tensions ready to burst, she added.

The panelists pointed toward Facebook’s Groups feature, where users can create and join groups of special interest to them, as a leading culprit behind the tools and resources used by the violent protestors and online conspiracist groups that formed. These groups allowed fake news to proliferate behind walls that journalists could not see, said Ben Collins, reporter at NBC News. He added people are now disputing long-held facts about things around them.

Predicting insurrection

Zadrozny was not alone in the panel in predicting the insurrection as a result of growing online misinformation or other fake news sources. John Sands, director of learning and impact at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, said he also saw it coming and tried to raise the alarm about the incoming insurrection.

He said it feels like being “chicken little” when trying “to get people to understand that things are getting worse when things are already quite bad.” Sands blamed the insurrection on “a lack of seriousness on the part of government institutions.”

What confounds Joan Donovan, research director at the Shorenstein Center on media, politics, and public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, is that the GOP did not recognize that the violent protestors were part of their base. She said that former President Trump was a “cudgel” to the GOP as one who would “bring a religious holy war.”

Continue Reading

Courts

Supreme Court Declares Trump First Amendment Case Moot, But Legal Issues For Social Media Coming

Benjamin Kahn

Published

on

Photo of Justice Clarence Thomas in April 2017 by Preston Keres in the public domain

March 16, 2021 – The ease with which social media companies have allowed fringe groups to organize, egged on by then-President Donald Trump himself, made the January 6 Capitol riot an inevitability, experts on a South by Southwest panel said Tuesday.

Brandy Zadrozny, investigative reporter NBC News, said the radicalization of online groups causing real world harm is not new, but said what is new is that “half of America seemed to get radicalized really, really, quickly.”

Niche pockets containing militia, Q-Anon conspiracy theorists, and anti-vaccination spaces grew and burst in conversation. “It was inevitable that [the Capital riot] was going to happen,” she said, adding she was on the speakerphone with a colleague “just holding our breaths, waiting for it to happen.”

Social media culpability

“It’s hard to know when we actually got into this space,” when talking about the incredible rise of online conspiracies and disinformation, Zadrozny said.

She argued that these groups were given a safe space to foment dissent, hatred and division for many months. The result was a bubble of tensions ready to burst, she added.

The panelists pointed toward Facebook’s Groups feature, where users can create and join groups of special interest to them, as a leading culprit behind the tools and resources used by the violent protestors and online conspiracist groups that formed. These groups allowed fake news to proliferate behind walls that journalists could not see, said Ben Collins, reporter at NBC News. He added people are now disputing long-held facts about things around them.

Predicting insurrection

Zadrozny was not alone in the panel in predicting the insurrection as a result of growing online misinformation or other fake news sources. John Sands, director of learning and impact at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, said he also saw it coming and tried to raise the alarm about the incoming insurrection.

He said it feels like being “chicken little” when trying “to get people to understand that things are getting worse when things are already quite bad.” Sands blamed the insurrection on “a lack of seriousness on the part of government institutions.”

What confounds Joan Donovan, research director at the Shorenstein Center on media, politics, and public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, is that the GOP did not recognize that the violent protestors were part of their base. She said that former President Trump was a “cudgel” to the GOP as one who would “bring a religious holy war.”

Continue Reading

Recent

Signup for Broadband Breakfast

Get twice-weekly Breakfast Media news alerts.
* = required field

Trending