Links 9. 1. 2017: Identity Headlines, The Metaphysics of Pepe, Safety Pins and Swastikas und warum die Linke ihr Mojo verloren hat

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Die NYTimes über das amerikanischen Vorbild von #KeinGeldFürRechts: How to Destroy the Business Model of Breitbart and Fake News:

In the old normal, it would have cost little to stand up against neo-Nazi slogans. But in the new normal, doing so might involve angering key players in the White House, including the president-elect, Donald J. Trump, who has hired the former editor of Breitbart as his senior adviser. Mr. Trump recently proved the damage he could do to a company by criticizing Lockheed Martin on Twitter; soon after, its stocks prices tumbled.

Still, a new consumer movement is rising, and activists believe that where votes failed, wallets may prevail. This struggle is about much more than ads on Breitbart News — it’s about using corporations as shields to protect vulnerable people from bullying and hate crimes.

Die Subheadline nails it: Why We Can't Fix Twitter – Social media is broken. When will we realize that we're the problem?

Say you’re a journalist, and you just published a big article. You have two options for engagement. The first is to receive a relatively small number of comments and questions from informed and influential people, including top thinkers in your field. Option two is a flood of Twitter mentions. Some will be smart, but many will be rants from complete strangers. We might think that we want option one. But deep down, we can’t give up the thrill of option two.

Any Twitter pundit with a large following is familiar with that thrill. It’s that moment right after your provocative statement starts ricocheting across the internet. Your feed explodes with new mentions and your followers dramatically increase. You have no idea who most of these people are, or even if they are real people, but you feel like a rock star. If your tweet goes really viral, you might get on TV. Maybe you will be invited to write an op-ed expanding on your tweet, even though 140 characters were all you had to say on the matter.

Interessantes Gespräch zwischen Jordan Peterson und dem Ikonen-Bildhauer Jonathan Pageau über The Metaphysics of Pepe:

Good one from Angela Nagle at the Irish Times: What the Alt-right is really all about.

No matter how familiar you are with the Alt-right, and I’ve watched them closely for many years, “explaining” the Alt-right’ to a general audience will always make you sound like an overwhelmed grandparent trying to figure out how to work the internet, in part because of their slippery use of irony. Stylistically the Alt-right is like the music subcultures of past decades, with its hip elitism that rolls its eyes at normies who don’t understand its conventions and argot – even though they are of course designed to be opaque to outsiders so as to resist easy interpretation.

The online culture wars of recent years have become ugly beyond anything I could have ever imagined. The seemingly sociopathic levels of amoral cruelty found in comment threads wherever Pepe memes lurk suggests an unpleasant answer to the question posed long ago by Plato’s Ring of Gyges – would we behave morally if we could be invisible and thus consequence free?

And this doesn’t apply exclusively to the Alt-right. A new generation of liberal left-identitarians display chilling levels of pack pleasure when conducting career-ending, life-destroying hate campaigns against people for minor infringements against the liberal moral code such as off-colour jokes. Some examples were chronicled in Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. I think what has led so many young white men in the US in particular to openly flirt with the Alt-right online is a sense that one may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. Why grovel when you can join an anonymous army of trolls to fight back with pure offensiveness. This is what the Alt-right offers.

But like the US socialist writer Shuja Haider recently argued: “It should go without saying that left-liberal identity politics and Alt-right white nationalism are not comparable. The problem is that they are compatible.” Tumblr needs 4chan just as neo-masculinist misogynists need a perpetual supply of listicles about man-splaining, and the Alt-right needs finger wagging “Dear white people” liberal commentary to denigrate ordinary white people at every opportunity.

Noch mehr zur Kompatibilität der Alt-Right und der CTRL-Left im oben zitierten Artikel von Shuja Haider im Jacobin Mag: Safety Pins and Swastikas – The frameworks of liberal identity politics and “alt-right” white nationalism are proving curiously compatible.

In late 2016, MTV News released a video called “2017 Resolutions for White Guys.” The video features several young people, some of whom are themselves white and male, addressing “white guys” in the second person. “There’s a few things we think you could do a little bit better in 2017,” says one of the speakers. “White guys” are held responsible for Donald Trump’s election, the history of American racial inequality, police brutality, and a host of other societal ills. They are collectively blamed for the lenient sentence California superior court judge Aaron Persky gave Brock Turner for sexual assault.

Categorically identifying white men with powerful, corrupt figures like Persky isn’t just an accusation — it’s also an exemption. Taking the logic of allyship to an even further extreme, it calls for their passivity rather than their participation.[…] the “2017 Resolutions” video doesn’t present much of a threat to the alt-right. The backlash to it was so severe that MTV removed it within forty-eight hours of posting it. But the statement it makes isn’t just ineffective as political strategy — it also fails as political analysis. While the video names the object (“white guys”) it addresses, effectively aligning them with the Right, it doesn’t articulate the identity of the subject making the statement.

The speaking subject is “we.” What’s left unanswered is, who does that pronoun represent? Who does it include? This is the question Richard Spencer has put front and center in National Policy Institute propaganda: “who are we?”

The alt-right has an answer — one that is consistent with the long history of imperialism and white supremacy. As their adoption of the language of identity politics shows, the Right takes comfort when the Left’s answer merely inverts the one generated by this history. It allows the Right to draw the battle lines, marking the territory of their white national fantasy.

But if they were confronted by a unified “we” — a subject that refused to recognize the borders, divisions, and hierarchies that are regulated by the logic of identity — the alt-right would be left with nowhere to plant its flag. White nationalists would find themselves in the worst possible position for a nation at war: being unable to identify the enemy.

Nick Clegg and Jonathan Haidt: The Rise of Populism and the Backlash Against the Elites

4 Gründe, warum die Linke ihr Mojo verloren hat: The Abandonment of Progress. Und 1 Lösungsansatz: Ein neuer Gesellschaftsvertrag für das 21. Jahrhundert. Unterschreibe ich so.

Progress has lost its shine for several reasons. The first is a decade of dismal economic performance: for anyone below the age of 30, especially in Europe, the new normal is recession and stagnation. […]

The second reason progress has lost credibility is that the digital revolution risks undermining the middle class that formed the backbone of the post-war societies of the world’s advanced economies. As long as technological progress was destroying unskilled jobs, the straightforward policy response was education. Robotization and artificial intelligence are destroying medium-skilled jobs, leading to a polarized labor market […]

A third, related, reason is the massively skewed distribution of national income gains that prevails in many countries. Social progress rested on the promise that the benefits of technological and economic advancement would be shared. But recent path-breaking research by Raj Chetty and his colleagues shows that whereas 90% of US adults born in the early 1940s earned more than their parents, this proportion has steadily declined ever since, to 50% for those born in the mid-1980s. […]

Fourth, the new inequality has a politically salient spatial dimension. Educated, professionally successful people increasingly marry and live close to one another, mostly in large, prosperous metropolitan areas. Those left out also marry and live close to one another, mostly in depressed areas or small towns. The result, reckon the Brookings Institution’s Mark Muro and Sifan Liu, is that US counties won by Trump account for just 36% of GDP, whereas won by Hillary Clinton account for 64%.

Good one von Lobo von zischen den Jahren: Kann die Realität rassistisch sein?: „Wenn man je nach aktueller Statistik seine Werte glaubt anpassen zu müssen, ist man ein Idiot. Aber wenn man seine Handlungen nicht der Realität anpasst, ist man auch ein Idiot. Ich glaube, dass es in der Debatte um Sicherheit und Integration nur die Flucht nach vorn gibt. Dass es nicht hilft, sich für die Argumentation gegen Rechte und Rechtsextreme nur die gut passenden Daten und Statistiken herauszusuchen, zum Beispiel, dass Flüchtlinge im Schnitt ähnlich kriminell sind wie Deutsche. Sondern auch die Daten, die den Eindruck stützen: Ja, es gibt massive Probleme.“

Good one von Georg Diez und Emanuel Heisenberg: Krise des Systems – Demokratie ist nicht Kapitalismus: „Gerechtigkeit, ein scheinbar alter Begriff, der in Zukunft aber eine ganz neue Bedeutung bekommt. Er setzt sich an die Stelle der Gleichheit, die eine Chimäre der französischen Revolution blieb, etwas, das man fordern konnte und beschränken, auf ein Land etwa, um die Fremden oder die Flüchtlinge fernzuhalten. Gerechtigkeit dagegen ist umfassender. Sie ist an Empathie gebunden, also an die Fähigkeit des Menschen, sich in andere einzufühlen. An diesem Begriff entscheidet sich, was menschliche Politik im 21. Jahrhundert ist, was eine demokratische Praxis und was nicht. Gerechtigkeit, wenn man es ernst meint, steht dabei noch über Freiheit und Individualismus, weil Gerechtigkeit beides bedingt.“

Data & Society: „six new pieces on the networked public sphere“:

1. Hacking the Attention Economy: I describe some of the tactics and strategies that people have taken to manipulate old and new media for fun, profit, and ideology. This essay explores decentralized coordination efforts, contemporary information campaigns, and cultural logics behind gaming the system.

2. What's Propaganda Got To Do With It? Caroline Jack brings historical context to the use of the term 'propaganda,' arguing that the resurgence of this label amid social anxieties over the new media landscape is reflective of deeper cultural and ideological divides.

3. Did Media Literacy Backfire? is my examination of how media literacy education efforts to encourage the public to be critical consumers of information may have contributed to widespread distrust in information intermediaries, complicating efforts to understand what is real and what is not.

4. Are There Limits to Online Free Speech? Alice Marwick explores how the tech industry's obsession with 'free speech' has been repurposed (and newly politicized) by networks whose actions are often seen as supporting of hate speech and harassment.

5. Why America is Self-Segregating: is my attempt to lay out some of the structural shifts that have taken place in the United States in the last twenty years that have magnified polarization and resulted in new types of de-diversification.

6. How do you deal with a problem like 'fake news'? Robyn Caplan looks directly at the challenges that companies face when they seek to address the inaccurate and often problematic content that is spread widely on social media sites.

538: Fact-Checking Won’t Save Us From Fake News

Ideological fake news lands in the social media feeds of audiences who are already primed to believe whatever story confirms their worldview, said Angela Lee, a journalism and emerging media professor at the University of Texas at Dallas. Readers also share stories for the LOLs. “You don’t only share things because they are true,” Lee said. “You share things that entertain you, that start a conversation between you and your friends.”

Dazu passend, dieser schöne Neologismus von Mike Caulfield, den ich mir klauen werde: Identity Headlines.

Most retweeters and Facebook reposters aren’t informing, or even arguing. They are using headlines the way one might use a bumper sticker: to express who there are and bond with others.

From a user’s point of view, every share, like or comment is both an act of speech and an accretive piece of a public identity. Maybe some people want to be identified among their networks as news junkies, news curators or as some sort of objective and well-informed reader. Many more people simply want to share specific beliefs, to tell people what they think or, just as important, what they don’t. A newspaper-style story or a dry, matter-of-fact headline is adequate for this purpose. But even better is a headline, or meme, that skips straight to an ideological conclusion or rebuts an argument.