The only remedy is to disable the algorithms

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Elon Musk has taken over Twitter and, as the company’s massive layoffs begin, is creating chaos. But chaos is inherent in how social media works in more fundamental ways, says The Chaos Machine: The Inside Story of How Social Media Has Rewired Our Minds and Our World by Max Fisher. The book paints a terrifying picture of the harm these new technologies are causing to our psyches and our societies. The turmoil of our world is tied to these platforms, which tap into our deep need for connection and change the very fabric of our social reality.

We all leave outraged and outraged after spending time on social media. And that searing emotion, that sense of threat to our group, is exactly what they’re meant to cause. Algorithms classify us into tribes. That’s just how our minds work – for example, reading an article on its own and reading it with the comments below produce entirely different reactions. Reading the comments awakens social thinking, tribal instinct, and hardens opinions one way or the other. The algorithm correctly calculates that conspiratorial and alarmist thinking is likely to keep you glued to the platform.

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The opinions expressed above are those of the author.



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