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Thursday, May 5, 2022

RAW Semantics returns with post on social media

The RAW Semantics blog, quiet since early February, returned Wednesday with a long new post, "RAW political #3 – media."   

Here is Brian's summary of the post: "Basic idea: while politics, following Leary-Wilson circuits 1-4, tend to repeat, media forms rapidly transform (‘Jumping Jesus’ phenomenon). But political media critics still tend to rely on anachronistic models from pre-internet commentaries (Orwell, Chomsky, etc) or pre-decentralised/social media 'lessons' (eg of misleading 2003 Iraq War coverage).

"As an example, take the now-prominent issues of 'free speech' and 'censorship', framed in ways still suggestive of legacy media gatekeeping 'centres' (eg of publishing and broadcasting) – even though the debates concern mostly 'decentralised' online media with algorithm gatekeeping – often featuring 'censored' celebrities with access to multiple alternative platforms. Perhaps we have less of a 'free speech problem', and more of a 'swamped by noise and disinformation problem'? (The latter predicted by RAW, incidentally)."

RAW Semantics also has been off Twitter but with a new blog post to promote it has returned; check out the Twitter account to see if find anything interesting you might have missed. 


Hugh said...

I have not read the post yet, but to me, legacy media is still a key purveyor of disinfo.

Where I live, it seems to me the narratives circulating within the community are still based heavily on cable news outlets and newspapers. Maybe it's the demographic here - I don't imbibe in either.

Regardless, it's not really easy to draw the line between legacy and new media. Intentional or not, they appear to feed off and influence each other in subtle ways.

I do look forward to reading the post, thanks as always Brian!

Brian Dean said...

Thanks, Hugh - yes, totally agree on the continuing influence of legacy media, and that's something I didn't address in my post (possibly - although I didn't really think about it - because I spent time attempting to quantify it in my previous 'News Frames' blog. One of the things I found back then, amusingly enough - UK "rightwing" "tabloid" newspapers get 23 times(!) the readership of basically the only remaining "liberal"/"left" UK newspaper, The Guardian).

Also agree on the blurry line - legacy media having mutated as a result of social media. I allude to this briefly (the Iraq War coverage - pre-social media. I think war coverage has mutated significantly due to social media. In Ukraine, "every tank, truck and troop movement gets tracked and added to open source databases - a country of 44 million people recording every move of the invaders, real-time data". It comes back to something I quote from Nassim Taleb - the "transparency effect" of new media. The legacy media "gatekeepers" couldn't function the same way as they did circa 2001-2003, even if they wanted to.

Anyway, enough blog-splaining from me! Hope you like the post.