Intangible weapons- filter bubbles & echo chambers

Social media plays a crucial role in our lives– and is not just used for the purpose of entertainment anymore .

Today media platfroms have a huge impact on all of us , they may even have an effect on the democratic process as many of high political standing people have already acknowledged –and some of the tools that enable the social media to do so are the filter bubbles and eco chambres.

Filter bubble is when people are isolated from the information that disagrees with their points of view , and the algorithm of the website is designed in the way that makes sure that users get suggested content based on their search history .Echo Chamber is when users(usually with common interests) , continue repeating the information(such as reposting) -which explains why it is called an Echo chamber  , as  the information echoes around the media platform.This may lead to the spread of the false information/ propaganda in which the viewers of such content would be persuaded to perceive the given information as legitimate.

For instance, in the Russian social network ‘Vkontakte’ , which is an analogue to ‘Facebook’ , particular songs are suggested to the user , based on his or hers musical taste , which is identified through the music history of the user- this is an example of a filter bubble.

An example of eco chamber in the same network is that there are various public groups that post photoshopped photographs of celebrities , as well as random texts or quotes , and state that they are written by famous people –when they are actually not. The users of the network ‘share ‘those posts with their followers- which then continues , and the same post , with the same piece of information , is being passed on to different users .

 

The new era of digital journalism

In today’s 21st century world, with all the technological advancements , journalism has undoubtedly changed.

Many have moved from using newspapers and magazines as their sources to gain information , due to the internet access, as well as all of the social media platforms ,such as ; Instagram , Facebook , Twitter , etc. If you think of it , it is crazy how many people use them per day , and how many more ‘users’ join. With those platforms being created , literally anyone can be a journalist – as people have the power to quickly spread the information around the internet-around the world. Today, journalist have to adjust their skills , to keep up with the pace at which the information is spreading , and the speed with which technologies are developing .

The constant development of the devices , is also impacting journalism . As well as the social platforms , devices allow people to quickly access any information – which is very convenient – and is another reason why many have moved from using the usual sources , such as ; newspapers, magazines.

Digital developments continue affecting journalism everyday , and both , negative and positive outcomes may be seen . Not only they affect journalism as a whole , but also journalists as individuals.

 

Underbelly , a festival not to miss

Simply walking past will automatically draw you into entering Southbank’s ongoing festival , Underbelly. Immediately captivated by the colours and scenery .

At first sight ,Underbelly festival is the hotspot to be on a Friday evening and entry being free makes it a whole lot better than it already is . I visited the festival at around 3pm on a Thursday , giving me a different perspective of what the festival actually holds due to its bizarre serenity and calmness, compared to what bypassers and festival goers informed me. Regular festival goer Ed McDermott strangely explains that Underbelly almost comes alive at night ,and as I listened more and more , I became intrigued to what goes on later in on the day , or on a Friday evening where he described Underbelly as being ‘ a variety of different people , all here to socialise and have a good time , whether it be with friends , a partner or family’.

Entry to the festival is free , however ,there are food stalls selling hotdogs and burgers and mini pubs , giving the festival a laid-back yet friendly atmosphere . Thee are live shows like the ‘Roaring Twenties Revue’ which introduces a modern twit on Burlesque. Music is always playing away at Underbelly , from the latest pop songs to classic Amy Winehouse , making it appeal to all types of audiences . Closing on the 30th of September , Underbelly is definitely not one to miss . 

(Located at 30 The Queen’s Walk , Lambeth , London SE1 8XX)

Text by : Amira Eshemi