6 Feb 2023

an interesting conversation on journalism and social media as trust in twitter drops

Late last month, the U. of Oxford’s Reuters Institute held a video-conference session on current tech-biz topics and the broad problem of doing journalism, concerned to great extent with social media and Mastodon’s answer to Twitter’s Musk turn. Seems to me worth a note here. It happens to have come a day after my longer post about these things. I’m not sure I would have addressed it directly had I listened to it before I wrote that, but it strikes me as good, in any case, for informing reflections on whether social media as large factor in 21st-century global commerce and culture might or might not have today reached a stage of exhaustion.

On many points, you can be sure, this session’s featured expert Dave Lee and I aren’t on the same page. I certainly don’t endorse the tech-boosterism of his comments, toward end, about ‘A.I.’ tools now being pushed in media-industry and consumer applications — ChatGPT &c. (on which). About assumed progress-tending capitalist inevitability underlying in his views throughout, I’d say, we ought to be much in doubt in a general way. With those caveats, I recommend giving him a listen.

There’s a ‘takeaways’ digest provided by the Reuters Institute, by the way, that it may be useful to have a glance at — but only secondarily, in my judgment. I’d be wary of it as synopsis merely.

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