Category Archives: Blogging

Fake news sharing in US is a rightwing thing, says study

University of Oxford project finds Trump supporters consume largest volume of ‘junk news’ on Facebook and Twitter

Low-quality, extremist, sensationalist and conspiratorial news published in the US was overwhelmingly consumed and shared by rightwing social network users, according to a new study from the University of Oxford.

The study, from the university’s “computational propaganda project”, looked at the most significant sources of “junk news” shared in the three months leading up to Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address this January, and tried to find out who was sharing them and why.

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Source: gadt

Margaret Atwood: ‘I am not a prophet. Science fiction is really about now’

The TV adaptation of her dystopian classic The Handmaid’s Tale captured the political moment. Ahead of a new series, Atwood talks bestsellers, bonnets and the backlash against her views on #MeToo

“It was not my fault!” says Margaret Atwood of 2017. But it was certainly her year. Now, just a few weeks into January, she is already making headlines with typically trenchant comments on the #MeToo movement. And, of course, the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale returns this spring: she has read the first eight scripts and has “no fingernails left”. While the world – and Gilead – show no sign of getting any cheerier, Atwood is seemingly unstoppable. In March the New Yorker crowned her “the prophet of dystopia” and the TV adaptations of The Handmaid’s Tale and Alias Grace has orbited her into an international stardom seldom experienced by novelists. Atwood was a consultant on both productions, and has cameo performances in each: as one of the aunts in The Handmaid’s Tale, slapping Elisabeth Moss’s Offred round the face, and as “Disapproving Woman” (the sign on her trailer) in Alias Grace. She will be on set in Toronto for the second season soon, again as a consultant, but not in a nasty aunt outfit this time. “Once was enough.” She has very much been cast to type. “Sometimes I pretend to be a scary old lady,” she confesses over coffee. “Yes I do,” she drawls menacingly. It is a complete coincidence that her near-future dystopia and her historical novel based on a real 19th-century murder have come at the same time, she says. “But they do have something in common: bonnets. So many bonnets.”

“I’m not a prophet,” she says. “Let’s get rid of that idea right now. Prophecies are really about now. In science fiction it’s always about now. What else could it be about? There is no future. There are many possibilities, but we do not know which one we are going to have.” She is, however, “sorry to have been so right”. But, with her high forehead and electric halo of curls, there is something otherworldly about Atwood. Dressed in one of her trademark jewel-coloured scarfs and a necklace of tiny skulls, she cuts a striking figure outside the cafe in Piccadilly where we are huddled.

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Source: gad

The other Ivanka: woman Trump tweeted in error takes aim at his presidency

Ivanka Majic – @Ivanka – writes blogpost year after president’s mistake thrusted UK resident into spotlight

A woman from Brighton has marked the first anniversary of her being mistaken by Donald Trump for his daughter on Twitter to voice her growing alarm about his presidency.

In an oversight by the then president-elect, the Twitter name of Ivanka Majic, a formal digital director for the Labour party, was added to a retweet intended to praise his daughter Ivanka Trump.

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Source: gad

Digital dystopia: tech slavery and the death of privacy – podcast

In the first episode of our four-part series, Jordan Erica Webber asks whether our digital selves are owned by tech firms in a new form of slavery?

Subscribe and review on iTunes, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast or on your favourite podcasting app and join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter

Is the internet broken? And has the utopian 90s net been replaced by digital feudalism, where a few powerful entities wield control over all of us digital serfs? In this series, Jordan Erica Webber looks at internet-enabled dystopia, and how even the technology designed to do good can end up causing harm.

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Source: gad2