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Educator, instructional technologist, tinkerer, musicmaker, hauler of bootstraps

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Grant Potter

Grant Potter

Grant Potter

https://www.wired.com/story/free-speech-issue-tech-turmoil-new-censorship "The freedom of speech is an important democratic value, but it’s not the only one. In the liberal tradition, free speech is usually understood as a vehicle—a necessary condition for achieving certain other societal ideals: for creating a knowledgeable public; for engendering healthy, rational, and informed debate; for holding powerful people and institutions accountable; for keeping communities lively and vibrant. What we are seeing now is that 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. Fostering a healthy, rational, and informed debate in a mass society requires mechanisms that elevate opposing viewpoints, preferably their best versions. To be clear, no public sphere has ever fully achieved these ideal conditions—but at least they were ideals to fail from. Today’s engagement algorithms, by contrast, espouse no ideals about a healthy public sphere."

"By this point, we’ve already seen enough to recognize that 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. The institutional antibodies that humanity has developed to protect against censorship and propaganda thus far—laws, journalistic codes of ethics, independent watchdogs, mass education—all evolved for a world in which choking a few gatekeepers and threatening a few individuals was an effective means to block speech. They are no longer sufficient."

Grant Potter

https://www.wired.com/story/fake-news-social-media-danah-boyd/ "It's not simply a moral panic. It's a proxy panic. We don't know how to talk about failings of financialized capitalism. We don't know how to talk about failings of our political infrastructure. We don't know how to talk about massive polarization in our public."

"Part of what is really collapsing here is that the networks have become too fragmented and too polarized. Technology doesn’t help; it simply magnifies the poles. This is dangerous and cyclical. Polarization leads to distrust and tribalism which leads to more polarization."

"I think there's a lot that the tech sector can and should do around this. No one has a better model of the networks of America than those tech companies. No one understands better where the disconnects are. What would it mean to actually understand and seek to remedy the divisions? But I don't know that that can be done in a financialized way. Actually, I know it can't be done in a financialized way. I want regulators to work toward rebuilding the networks of America. Not regulate toward fixing an ad."

Grant Potter

via: @holden http://digipo.io/doku.php The Digital Polarization Initiative is an attempt to build student web literacy by having students participating in a broad, cross-institutional projects around issues of digital polarization.