Links 9.12.2016: Das rechte Netz, The Age of Anger, Magischer Digitalismus, George Orwell & the Age of Outrage

BR: Rechtes Netz: „BR Data hat anhand der Seite von Pegida Nürnberg einen Teil des rechtspopulistischen Kosmos untersucht und ein Netzwerk identifiziert, in dem etablierte Parteien und Medien kaum mehr eine Rolle spielen.“


Was die rechtspopulistische Bewegung offensichtlich geschafft hat, ist eine breite Vernetzung von Vereinen, Parteien, Personen. Auch das ist kein Zufall. Pegida-Initiator Lutz Bachmann sagte im November auf einem Kongress des Compact-Magazins: „Es gibt drei Elemente, die wir brauchen: Das eine ist der parlamentarische Arm, was in Deutschland die AfD ist, (…) wir haben den zweiten Arm, das ist Pegida, wir müssen auf der Straße den Druck erhöhen (…). Und dann gibt es einen dritten Arm, das ist die Identitäre Bewegung, das sind die sogenannten (...) Aktivisten, die wirklich was tun. Und wenn diese drei Arme Hand in Hand und Arm in Arm gehen, dann werden wir was bewegen in dem Land.“

Die NPD hat Bachmann in dieser Rede nicht erwähnt. Auch sie spielt aber eine wichtige Rolle. Annähernd 80 Prozent der Anhänger von Pegida Nürnberg gefallen ebenfalls Seiten aus den Clustern AfD, Identitäre Bewegung oder NPD.

Minor Point but yeah: The Verge: FACEBOOK AND GOOGLE MAKE LIES AS PRETTY AS TRUTH: How AMP and Instant Articles camouflage fake news: „While feed formatting isn’t anything new, platforms like Google AMP, Facebook Instant Articles, and Apple News are also further breaking down the relationship between good design and credibility. In a platform world, all publishers end up looking more similar than different. That makes separating the real from the fake even harder.“

Sascha Lobo: Wie unser Technik-Aberglaube allen schadet:

Wir erleben in gewisser Weise eine Zeit der Voraufklärung, wenn man von der Notwendigkeit einer neuen, digitalen Aufklärung ausgeht. Wo die Allesversteher gemeinsam mit den Wenigverstehern am Mythos arbeiten, dass alles eine Frage der digitalen Sphäre ist.

Die einen profitieren davon, meist wirtschaftlich oder in Form einer Deutungshoheit über die gesamte Welt: Wir fragen Datenspezialisten nach Erklärungen, die eigentlich Soziologen oder Ökonomen geben müssten. Die anderen profitieren auch davon, meist, weil sie nicht nach eigenen Unzulänglichkeiten oder Verantwortungen für den Zustand und den Wandel der Gesellschaft fragen müssen - sondern als Generalerklärung den magischen Digitalismus anführen können. An dem sie unschuldig sind.

Nur die Welt selbst profitiert nicht, weil Aberglaube, wohlmeinender wie angsterfüllter, immer der schlechteste Wegweiser ist.

Raptitude: Five Things You Notice When You Quit the News:

1) You feel better
2) You were never actually accomplishing anything by watching the news
3) Most current-events-related conversations are just people talking out of their asses
4) There are much better ways to “be informed”
5) “Being concerned” makes us feel like we’re doing something when we’re not

Buzzfeed: Most Americans Who See Fake News Believe It, New Survey Says

Fake news headlines fool American adults about 75% of the time, according to a large-scale new survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for BuzzFeed News. The survey also found that people who cite Facebook as a major source of news are more likely to view fake news headlines as accurate than those who rely less on the platform for news.

This survey is the first large-scale public opinion research study into the fake news phenomenon that has had a sweeping effect on global politics, and that recently caused a gunman to threaten a DC pizza place. The results paint a picture of news consumers with little ability to evaluate the headlines that often fly toward them without context on social media platforms. They also — surprisingly — suggest that consumers are likely to believe even false stories that don’t fit their ideological bias. And the survey calls into question the notion — which Facebook has reportedly begun testing — that consumers themselves can do the work of distinguishing between real and fake news.

The new data comes from an online survey of 3,015 US adults conducted between Nov. 28 and Dec. 1. For more on the methodology, see the bottom of this article. A detailed summary of results to all questions can be found here. Additional calculations can be found here.


orwellNew Statesman: The age of outrage – Why are we so quick to take offence? The Private Eye editor on Orwell, Trump and the death of debate in post-truth politics.

Orwell said in his diary long before internet trolls had been invented: „We are all drowning in filth. When I talk to anyone or read the writings of anyone who has any axe to grind, I feel that intellectual honesty and balanced judgement have simply disappeared from the face of the earth. Everyone’s thought is forensic, everyone is simply putting a “case” with deliberate suppression of his opponent’s point of view, and, what is more, with complete insensitiveness to any sufferings except those of himself and his friends.“

This was in 1942, when the arguments were about war and peace, life and death, and there were real fascists and Stalinists around rather than, say, people who disagree with you about the possibility of reconciling freedom of movement with access to the single European market.

Orwell also made clear, in an essay called “As I Please” in Tribune in 1944, that what we think of as the new online tendency to call everyone who disagrees with you a fascist is nothing new. He wrote then: „It will be seen that, as used, the word “Fascism” is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee [a Tory group], the 1941 Committee [a left-liberal group], Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley’s broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.“

When Orwell writes like this about the level of public debate, one is unsure whether to feel relieved at the sense of déjà vu or worried about the possibility of history repeating itself, not as farce, but as tragedy again.

Guardian: Welcome to the age of anger: „we cannot understand this crisis because our dominant intellectual concepts and categories seem unable to process an explosion of uncontrolled forces.“

One of the first people to notice the disturbing complex of emotions we now see among self-seeking individuals around the world was Alexis de Tocqueville – who was already worried in the 1830s that the American promise of meritocracy, its uniformity of culture and manners, and “equality of conditions” would make for immoderate ambition, corrosive envy and chronic dissatisfaction. The passion for equality, he warned, could swell “to the height of fury” and lead many to acquiesce in a curtailment of their liberties, and to long for the rule of a strongman.

As De Tocqueville pointed out, people liberated from old hierarchies “want equality in freedom, and, if they cannot get it, they still want it in slavery.”

We witness a universal frenzy of fear and loathing today because the democratic revolution De Tocqueville witnessed has spread from its American centre to the remotest corners of the world. The rage for equality is conjoined with the pursuit of prosperity mandated by the global consumer economy, aggravating tensions and contradictions in inner lives that are then played out in the public sphere.

“To live in freedom,” De Tocqueville warned, “one must grow used to a life full of agitation, change and danger.” This kind of life is barren of stability, security, identity and honour, even when it overflows with material goods. Nevertheless, it is now commonplace among people around the world that rational considerations of utility and profit – the needs of supply chains and the imperatives of quarterly shareholder returns – uproot, humiliate and render obsolete.

The widespread experience of the maelstrom of modernity has only heightened the lure of ressentiment. Many new individuals now “live in freedom”, in De Tocqueville’s words, even as they are enslaved by finely integrated political, economic and cultural powers: the opaque workings of finance capital, the harsh machinery of social security, juridical and penal systems, and the unrelenting ideological influence of the media and the internet.

Never have so many free individuals felt so helpless – so desperate to take back control from anyone they can blame for their feeling of having lost it. It should not be surprising that we have seen an exponential rise in hatred of minorities, the main pathology induced by political and economic shocks. These apparent racists and misogynists have clearly suffered silently for a long time from what Albert Camus called “an autointoxication – the evil secretion, in a sealed vessel, of prolonged impotence”. It was this gangrenous ressentiment, festering for so long in places such as the Daily Mail and Fox News, that erupted volcanically with Trump’s victory.