A new study shows that Facebook charges higher prices for campaign ads that target users with differing political views, leading social media users into what they term 'informational filter bubbles.' The team, made up of researchers from Northeastern University, USC, and the voting advocacy group Upturn, bought $13,000 worth of Facebook ads targeting 50,000 users they identified as either conservative or liberal. The tests were conducted in July and August and targeted residents in North Carolina. A new study shows that it can cost as much as 50 percent more to reach conservative users with liberal political ads, and vice versa In one test, reported by New Scientist, the researchers used Facebook’s audience targeting options to send conservative users ads from both the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump campaigns. They found that despite using identical audience targeting metrics, the Sanders ads reached just 4,772 users while the Trump ads were shown to 7,588 users. RELATED … [Read more...] about It costs nearly 50 percent more to buy a Facebook ad that reaches members of the opposite political party, which is causing people to occupy ‘informational filter bubbles’
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Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz appeared to admit Wednesday that political bias was a possible factor in the abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page.Horowitz concluded in his report that political bias did not play a role in the FBI’s decision to start an investigation into possible Russian involvement in the Trump campaign. However, under questioning by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) before the Senate Judiciary Committee Horowitz said that his investigation could not rule out bias in later stages of the FBI’s investigation. Lee: Isn’t the lack of evidence on bias, evidence that we really should take as bias? But it’s — in any event, its certainly not itself indicative that no bias occurred, isn’t that correct? Horowitz: As to the opening [of the investigation], which is in a different place than the FISA issues that you … [Read more...] about DOJ IG Michael Horowitz Appears to Admit Political Motives Might Have Played a Role in FISA Abuse
Sinclair Broadcast Group is axing one of its biggest stars, Boris Epshteyn, the network's chief political analyst and a former special assistant to President Donald Trump. The move is part of a company-wide effort to move away from political commentary in favor of investigative journalism, the network said Wednesday. "We have to shine a light on our value proposition every quarter hour, in every newscast," the company said in a statement to its staff. "Therefore, we will be expanding our local investigative journalism footprint in our daily newscasts. We are excited to dedicate more time in our newscasts to report on critical and relevant issues." "To allot additional airtime for this storytelling, we will be ending the commentary segments this Friday, Dec. 13, featuring Ameshia Cross, and Boris Epshteyn," the memo continued. Epshteyn's political commentary has been widely criticized. In a piece last year about immigration on the Southern border, Epshteyn used the word "invasion" to … [Read more...] about Sinclair drops Boris Epshteyn and other political analysts
L-R: Michelle Yeoh and Sonequa Martin-Green in the Star Trek: Discovery premiere. Photo: Dalia Naber/CBS Wonderstruck, overstuffed, corny, and stirring, Star Trek: Discovery stands tall alongside the best-regarded incarnations of the Trek franchise even as it raids elements from all of them (including the recent J.J. Abrams film series, which Paramount says is set in an alternate timeline that has nothing to do with this one). Though handsomely produced, the show’s imagination seems to have been slightly reined in by commercial mandates — namely, reinvigorating Trek as a TV property and serving as a marquee title that would lure customers to CBS All Access, the network’s subscription-only service. There were reports that series co-creator Bryan Fuller, who ultimately left the project over creative disagreements as well as scheduling conflicts with his Starz series American Gods, wanted Discovery to be darker, more openly political, and more aggressively serialized … [Read more...] about Is a Stirring, Rare Work of Science Fiction
Guest post by Bill von Hippel, George Richardson, and David Buss The Thinker at the Gates of Hell Source: Rodin, Wikimedia Commons Do strong emotional responses to our article indicate that we hit a nerve or that our colleagues are baffled by our ineptitude? Recently we (Buss & von Hippel, 2018; von Hippel & Buss, 2017) published a survey of over 300 members of the Society for Experimental Social Psychology (one of the main professional organizations for social psychology) regarding their attitudes toward evolutionary psychology. We suggested that many social psychologists dismiss evolutionary psychology because their left-leaning orientation leads them to conceive of the mind as a blank slate at birth and this viewpoint is inconsistent with the idea of evolved attitudes and preferences. We suggested that this problem is further compounded by evolved tendencies to be more focused on persuasion than truth-seeking and to form and maintain coalitions that compete with … [Read more...] about Do Politics Predict Belief in Evolutionary Psychology?
Source: Shutterstock “Social media algorithms can be purposefully used to distribute polarizing political content and misinformation,” note the authors of a recent and timely study on fake news by Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project. In “Polarization, Partisanship and Junk News Consumption over Social Media in the U.S.,” the culmination of a three-month study supported by the National Science Foundation and published earlier this week, Oxford researcher Vidya Narayanan and colleagues found that Facebook pages tied to the “extreme hard right” are responsible for circulating “more junk news than all the other [social media] audiences put together.” On Twitter, meanwhile, “a network of Trump supporters shares the widest range of known junk news sources and circulates more junk news than all the other groups put together.” Though fake news content “is unevenly spread across the ideological … [Read more...] about Flaws in the Algo: How Social Media Fuel Political Extremism