The internet and their distortion in the socio-political culture

Authors: Rojas Samper Mateo & Magan Asencios Marcelo*

The invention and development of the internet can be considered as one of the greatest technological advances of the 20th century, the internet has had a great upward transformation since its creation, which is, however, very recent from the historical perspective, and has remained of that first static network designed to carry a few bytes or to send a small message between several terminals. Today it has so much power that unlimited amounts of information can be emitted in this electronic giant. Until not so long ago the internet was a simple container of information where only those people able to understand and write in the specific code were in charge of publishing and maintaining content; now we all participate in a fundamental way in this project, having the possibility of generating and commenting on existing content. however, this development has also brought several with it a hidden side, some consequences, which are manifested in the users, but above all in their interaction, in what they comment and the most important thing in our opinion the action carried out after making the comment, since it is in most cases can be represented in a violent way such as a protest, a fight among others. from the point of not valuing the quality of the information and giving importance only to the fact that it affirms or contradicts what they think, depending on what the objective is.

During the last years of the 1980s and the 1990s, the internet has developed to such an extent that grew to include the computing power of the universities and research centers, which, together with the subsequent incorporation of private companies, public bodies and associations from around the world, was a strong impetus to the internet, this ceased to be simply a project of character state and went on to become the network of computers most massive in the world, comprising more than 50,000 networks, four million systems and more than seventy millions of users. Nicholas G. Carr1, expert in Information and Communication Technologies, and advisor to the Encyclopedia Britannica. He claims he doesn’t think like he used to. It happens to him especially when he reads. “I think the biggest threat is its potential to diminish our capacity for concentration, reflection and contemplation,” Carr warns via email. “As the Internet becomes our universal medium, it could be training our brains to receive information very quickly and in small portions,” he adds. “What we lose is our ability to maintain a sustained line of thought over a long period of time.” Nicholas G. Carr, expert in Information and Communication Technologies, and advisor to the Encyclopedia Britannica. He claims he doesn’t think like he used to. It happens to him especially when he reads. He used to dive into a book and be able to eat pages and pages hour after hour. But now it only holds a few paragraphs. He becomes distracting, restless and looks for something else to do.

On the other hand, this decrease in the capacity in our perception or the way in how we see things that makes us more susceptible to fall under the influence of fake news, this hoax to which new discoveries, events and news in general are subject. Based on this, it is believed that in 2022 there will be so much fake news on various topics that it will be very difficult to discern between what is false and what is true. In fact, we are already living it and there are thousands of situations of this kind. For example, in 2016 one of the most famous news was Brexit. It was reported through various media that the separation of the United Kingdom from the European Union would bring greater benefits to the British. Something that in the long run has only brought difficulties to the British government, which has also had to deal with the situation of the coronavirus in the country, which had one of the highest rates of contagion and deaths.

However, the population believed it to the fullest and that is why they voted for the separation [1].

Figure 1. : Accessing Confirming and Contradicting Information Online Indices. by Anger, Fear, and Echo Chambers: The Emotional Basis for Online Behavior

To lose the battle in social networks is a consequence of the insistence, skewness and leber who developed a character instead of boosting the personality and character of a political actor; of those who do not report to detail and in an impartial manner and self-criticism to their clients; applying principles of telenovela that can never be imposed on a daily reality. Political power is forceful: it does not admit trials; it crushes those who do not deserve it; it consumes the energy and vitality of the actor when he cannot exercise it; citizen expectation wears out and reduces the margin of maneuver of the leader if he does not show his validity [2].

It is observed that inequalities end up naturalizing and are incorporated into the culture of society. The differences in the taking of decisions in the socio-political field become inequalities that lead to a high stratification, fragmentation and social segregation, which weaken the sense of belonging and cooperation in society [3]. It creates a culture of privilege that is the enemy of the capacity building, the historical experience indicates that social integration, equality, and cooperation go hand in hand, and are key in building a society that can make decisions with the ability to compete in a world in which technological progress redefines constantly the basis of international competition, the productivity and the creation and loss of jobs.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

What are the consequences of the internet in the socio-political field of our reality? How do fake news influence on the process of obtention of information and the users?

What’s the experts’ roll in this topic and how they have been affected by the new ways to obtain information caused by the development of internet?

What emotions do the users feel when they see or react to certain sorts of information and how this influence on their obtention of more information?

The well-known business explosion on the internet left digital-age enthusiasts with a panic of any financial crisis. The novel idea of selling content, concepts and products through web pages seemed to disappear in the tide of the everyday where the new ends up being part of the natural panorama to finally disappear coldly in it. After the crisis some pioneering Internet companies entered their war quarters and tried to modify the rules of the game on the Web, betting on the user rather than content and collaboration rather than simple competition. It is thus born this core concept called generically as Web 2.0, in which began to emerge more than simple pages or portals, platforms for exchange and collaboration as blogs, wikis, peer-to-peer as B torrent, Napster, Ares, and platforms for dissemination and collaboration-free information and content such as Myspace, YouTube, Slideshare, Ustream and so-called “social networks” such as Facebook, Twitter, etc With the boom of these applications and many others related to them, the volume of users expanded exponentially creating waves of virulent and ephemeral media phenomena, such as home videos on YouTube, gossip on Twitter, urban legends on Facebook This turn placed a large part of what is called de facto public opinion disseminated in these collective platforms, ready to become a public square at the slightest provocation. Thus, almost as an accident, as collateral damage, there appears in these platforms and applications the temptation to opine and persuade on any issue of public and therefore political interest. After this come the political actors to try to distribute the media spoils, and thus incorporate into their repertoire of persuasive devices the new machines of weaving campaigns and obtaining popularity and votes. To date they have not achieved it at all. The relevant studies described above show this. Computer applications work on the basis of minimum principles of a fundamental feature of so-called usability. When we say usable, we mean a simple to use program with simple applications. Almost entirely, the software industry aims to make programs more usable and more attractive all the time. In Web 2.0 applications and more clearly in social networks, given their interest in users, the most important part of their function are the principles of usability, this is how users get the opportunity to interact through various reactions, from the “like”, the “add” on Facebook or a “retweet” or “follow” on Twitter, you have the possibility to express with a few parameters the support or not to a topic of public interest. But the question remains, do these simple acts have any kind of political impact? The basic idea of the creators of Twitter is to simplify content and facilitate relationships, then rank them and measure their impact. All this with the measure of 140 characters for each publication of the user, something like two simple statements (subject, verb and predicate). This was how this company managed to consolidate itself as the main platform of protest in various political events such as the citizen rebellions in the Arab countries that lead to the Arab Spring, the last elections in the United States5, and other events. From this event, we can consider that the policy discussions among its most numerous actors, citizens, not only multiplied, but also simplified, and it is here that a controversial debate begins, on the one hand, the idea that the process of citizen debate and deliberation is being enriched through these criticisms and statements that over time have become arguments whose sources of information are quite dubious. On the contrary, others agree that this form of discussion rather impoverishes and hinders the exchange of political ideas and gives way to the promotion of radical ideas, hatred, discrimination. etc. According to several studies, the political behavior of individual users on social networks is predominantly characterized by two key emotions, fear and anger. Fear tends to result in a desperate search for information that confirms or denies the fears of the affected person, however, users who are afraid tend to seek information that contradicts the facts that generated that emotion with the simple aim of reducing the fear they feel. In this sense of fear is also present anxiety, which is related to the sense of lack of control that tends to weigh opposing views to one another, this way you could say that the anxious people are more susceptible to information contemporary but do not tend to line up immediately to ideology or partisanship [4]. Now, while anxious people express the desire to seek more information and learn more about the issue that concerns them to somehow contrast statements that a priori are considered official, people who express anger tend to seek information that, on the contrary, confirms their ideas on a certain topic, for example, the anti-vaccine movement, which predominates quite in developed countries, people who declare themselves anti-vaccine claim to constantly inform themselves with official publications of medical journals, or they link other diseases to vaccines that are meant to cure others.

Figure 2: Twitter Flagged 300,000 Misleading U.S. Election Tweets

A citizen is not free to decide whether the logic he follows when acting is governed by false information or knowledge, which is propagated by fake news. The rise of fake news has therefore been a blow to the quality of democracy, due to its influence on the election processes of candidates and the misinformation they imprint on public opinion regarding public affairs. A well-formed public opinion, which enjoys critical and free thinking, is beneficial for democracy, already as a closed space in which content focused on reinforcing that common ideology is shared and all that publication that questions the idea defended by this group is censored [5]. Within these echo chambers there are no intermediate positions, since the members of the same publish content that only favours their ideological position, denying or attacking the existence of those contrary opinions. Fake news demonstrates their influence on the users dividing them in different “tribes” made up of other users who defend ideas similar or equal to theirs and are with these with which they maintain a greater interaction, still, they maintain little interaction or debate with groups that express different opinions. Over time this has created an environment in which to decide on whether to initiate a debate online, one need to take in certain situations of risk, as the humiliation before a large group of people, also when it comes to discussing about a political issue can be risky, because many times there is a feeling of rejection towards this topic, putting it above the preservation of the harmony and coexistence rules.

The role played by experts, professionals, researchers and other media whose role is to spread truthful information is also of paramount importance, the problem with this now is that people no longer regard experts as the main sources of information, or even as reliable sources. For example, a person feels a very strong discomfort in the chest and decides first to look for their symptoms and to continue with this search thinks that they have something as serious as lung cancer, after this he will arrive at the hospital stating that he has lung cancer, however, the expert will have to convince him that it is not so. Although it might seem difficult to believe, or very ridiculous that sounds, there will be people who will do everything possible to contradict claims by an expert giving more validity to the information you have read on some site any of the internet, in the United States have been given the nickname of “Facebook scientists”, as this is their preferred social network to publish their “discoveries” and comment on those of other scientists of Facebook. However, there are also a number of errors that have been committed by experts, for example, in the 1970s, nutritionists most recognized of the united States reported to the government that the consumption of eggs may be lethal for Americans if he is not removed from the diet due to the high cholesterol that contained, upon hearing this, the White House initiated a propaganda campaign with the aim of avoiding the consumption of this food, however, after some time something unexpected happened, people began to die from other diseases because they began to consume foods whose cholesterol did damage their body, the products with which they replaced eggs made them suffer from diabetes and other diseases. Experts make mistakes and make mistakes all the time. However, the effects of such mistakes range from slight embarrassment to waste of time and money; in certain cases, they can result in death and even lead to an international catastrophe. And, despite this, the experts ask the citizens to trust their judgment and have confidence not only that mistake will be rare, but that the experts will identify those mistakes and learn from them. Day by day, the laity have no choice but to rely on experts. We live our lives embedded in a network of social and governmental institutions to ensure that professionals are in fact who they say they are, and in fact can do what they say they do. This day-to-day confidence we have in professionals is due to a situation of need. It’s very much the same way we trust everyone else in our daily lives, from the bus driver we assume is not drunk or the restaurant we go to every weekend and assume the chef has clean hands. This is not the same as trusted professionals when it comes to public policy issues: to say that we trust our doctors to write us the right prescription is not the same means that we are going to trust all medical professionals to know about whether there should be a national health care system. To say that we trust a university professor to teach our sons and daughters the history of World War II is not the same as to say that there is the confidence of all academic historians to advise the president of our country on matters of war.

Figure 3: Trust in Medical Scientists Has Grown in U.S., but Mainly Among Democrats. About six-in-ten believe social distancing measures are helping a lot to slow the spread of coronavirus in the nation. Report. May 21, 2020.

According to several studies, the political behavior of individual users on social networks is predominantly characterized by two key emotions, fear and anger. Fear tends to result in a desperate search for information that confirms or denies the fears of the affected person, however, users who are afraid tend to seek information that contradicts the facts that generated that emotion with the simple aim of reducing the fear they feel. In this sense of fear is also present anxiety, which is related to the sense of lack of control that tends to weigh opposing views to one another, this way you could say that the anxious people are more susceptible to information contemporary but do not tend to line up immediately to ideology or partisanship. Now, while anxious people express the desire to seek more information and learn more about the issue that concerns them to somehow contrast statements that a priori are considered official, people who express anger tend to seek information that, on the contrary, confirms their ideas on a certain topic, for example, the anti-vaccine movement, which predominates quite in developed countries, people who declare themselves anti-vaccine claim to constantly inform themselves with official publications of medical journals, or they link other diseases to vaccines that are meant to cure others [6]. In a certain way, we cannot deny the fact that this people are looking for information, but if we focus on the quality and accuracy of this information, we will see that it is not supported by official institutions (Ministries of Health, World Health Organization), however the goal here is not only informed, it is also “inform the others”, so that you begin to share this information in the network as if it were true, by filling it with arguments and statements, this is of course, brings as a consequence the increase of the misinformation and the spread of “fake news”.

PURPOSE OF THE STUDУ

Will address the issue of the influence that the development of the internet and one of its greatest inventions, social networks, in it have obtained not only in the way in which we understand, seek information, but also in how we share and discuss it, also, it will talk about how this influences the political behavior of users in social networks.

  • Analyze the roll of the experts in this new era, characterized by the easy access to information that’s also decrease experts’ credibility.
  • Visualize the impact of fake news and other sources of information of dubious quality

RESEARCH METHODS

Analysis and synthesis to obtain an objective opinion about the subject; Analogy to be able to deduce the use of unknown terms from the analysis of the relationships they have with other terms; Classification to establish the order of importance of sources.

We try to use qualitative research which tends to look for the causes of phenomena in the depth of the interpretations that the subjects make about them, so they work with portions of subjects or materials sometimes very small (making use, sometimes, of the so-called “saturation of a sample” The qualitative orientation allows us to obtain a better understanding of complex processes, social interactions or cultural phenomena, since it collects data of lived experiences, emotions or behaviors and the meanings that individuals provide them.

FINDINGS

The role played by experts, professionals, researchers and other media whose role is to spread truthful information is also of paramount importance, the problem with this now is that people no longer regard experts as the main sources of information, or even as reliable sources. For example, a person feels a very strong discomfort in the chest and decides first to look for their symptoms and to continue with this search thinks that they have something as serious as lung cancer, after this he will arrive at the hospital stating that he has lung cancer, however, the expert will have to convince him that it is not so. Although it might seem difficult to believe, or very ridiculous that sounds, there will be people who will do everything possible to contradict claims by an expert giving more validity to the information you have read on some site any of the internet, in the United States have been given the nickname of “Facebook scientists”, as this is their preferred social network to publish their “discoveries” and comment on those of other scientists of Facebook. However, there are also a number of errors that have been committed by experts, for example, in the 1970s, nutritionists most recognized of the united States reported to the government that the consumption of eggs may be lethal for Americans if he is not removed from the diet due to the high cholesterol that contained, upon hearing this, the White House initiated a propaganda campaign with the aim of avoiding the consumption of this food, however, after some time something unexpected happened, people began to die from other diseases because they began to consume foods whose cholesterol did damage their body, the products with which they replaced eggs made them suffer from diabetes and other diseases [7]. Experts make mistakes and make mistakes all the time. However, the effects of such mistakes range from slight embarrassment to waste of time and money; in certain cases, they can result in death and even lead to an international catastrophe. And, despite this, the experts ask the citizens to trust their judgment and have confidence not only that mistake will be rare, but that the experts will identify those mistakes and learn from them. Day by day, the laity have no choice but to rely on experts. We live our lives embedded in a network of social and governmental institutions to ensure that professionals are in fact who they say they are, and in fact can do what they say they do. This day-to-day confidence we have in professionals is due to a situation of need. It’s very much the same way we trust everyone else in our daily lives, from the bus driver we assume is not drunk or the restaurant we go to every weekend and assume the chef has clean hands. This is not the same as trusted professionals when it comes to public policy issues: to say that we trust our doctors to write us the right prescription is not the same means that we are going to trust all medical professionals to know about whether there should be a national health care system. To say that we trust a university professor to teach our sons and daughters the history of World War II is not the same as to say that there is the confidence of all academic historians to advise the president of our country on matters of war.

According to several studies, the political behavior of individual users on social networks is predominantly characterized by two key emotions, fear and anger. Fear tends to result in a desperate search for information that confirms or denies the fears of the affected person, however, users who are afraid tend to seek information that contradicts the facts that generated that emotion with the simple aim of reducing the fear they feel. In this sense of fear is also present anxiety, which is related to the sense of lack of control that tends to weigh opposing views to one another, this way you could say that the anxious people are more susceptible to information contemporary but do not tend to line up immediately to ideology or partisanship [8]. Now, while anxious people express the desire to seek more information and learn more about the issue that concerns them to somehow contrast statements that a priori are considered official, people who express anger tend to seek information that, on the contrary, confirms their ideas on a certain topic, for example, the anti-vaccine movement, which predominates quite in developed countries, people who declare themselves anti-vaccine claim to constantly inform themselves with official publications of medical journals, or they link other diseases to vaccines that are meant to cure others.

In a certain way, we cannot deny the fact that this people are looking for information, but if we focus on the quality and accuracy of this information, we will see that it is not supported by official institutions (Ministries of Health, World Health Organization), however the goal here is not only informed, it is also “inform the others”, so that you begin to share this information in the network as if it were true, by filling it with arguments and statements, this is of course, brings as a consequence the increase of the misinformation and the spread of “fake news” [9].

From this we have come to the idea that the different users are divided into groups or “tribes” made up of other users who defend ideas similar or equal to theirs and are with these with which they maintain a greater interaction, still, they maintain little interaction or debate with groups that express different opinions [10]. Over time this has created an environment in which to decide on whether to initiate a debate online, one need to take in certain situations of risk, as the humiliation before a large group of people, also when it comes to discussing about a political issue can be risky, because many times there is a feeling of rejection towards this topic, putting it above the preservation of the harmony and coexistence rules.

CONCLUSION

Finally, the experts are most likely the ones who have had the most difficult in this situation, having this lack of credibility that they did not previously enjoy. And, although there is a margin of error in the information provided by experts, we can be quite sure that it has gone through several filters and by the judgment of not just one person. The accessibility of information that gave us the internet and the rapid spread of this through the social networks they created a kind of phenomenon in which everyone can be an expert because he has read articles on a few sources, or has seen a certain amount of videos on YouTube, and well, this does not mean that the subject has not learned anything, this is usually enough to acquire a general view of the matter [11], however, knowing what diseases affect the respiratory system doesn’t mean you have the best advice on how to treat them. Currently both the United States and the European Union are trying to pass laws that make the information pass through cones that go by discarding the part unusable or not credible this7, however, and as was expected, the question of who should monitor the behavior of users and the quality of information on the internet or in social networks-without taking advantage of his position is too controversial and that the governments hide information that harm the image of the country to their citizens and those of other countries, companies (like Facebook) compromise the privacy of their users, and so on.

Ultimately, by allowing the existence of large amounts of dubious information, also intended simply to misinformation of users, the internet is weakening the capacity of laity and scholars alike for research, the new star skill of the 21st century is power. distinguish between junk information and quality content, or at least real. This might seem like an odd statement coming from a member of the academic community, because I gladly admit that Internet access makes my job as a writer so much easier. When they were in college, our parents and even most of you who are reading this article, spent hours and hours in a library and carried books and articles with them to write simple things like an essay or a research paper. Personally, my computer is full of pdf files, whether they are books or articles that I have at hand to read, that is infinitely better than going blind from reading so much in a dark library room.

The susceptibility phenomenon of users has also been affected by being intertwined with the content they find not only on the Internet, but also on social networks. As we have already seen the emotions and reactions that users have when using the different social networks, they are classified into two groups, those with anger as the main characteristic, and seek to impose their ideas and what they consider to be true information (for more ridiculous as it may sound) to the rest,

through techniques such as ridiculing in front of other users or discrediting. On the other hand, fear is one of the strongest emotions and, logically, one always hopes to realize that he was wrong and there is nothing to fear, for this purpose, the user with fear will defend information that contrasts his fears. Both cases are worrying since the latter can be strongly influenced by the former.

* Marcelo Magan Asencios, Institute of International Relations and World History (Lobachevsky University, UNN)   Department   of   World   Diplomacy   and   International   Law    Russian   Federation,   Nizhny   Novgorod.   Email: marcelo0102hp[at]gmail.com

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