5 Social Side-Effects Of Disinformation

5Online Groups Are Getting Really Weird

Online Groups Are Getting Really Weird

That’s just Facebook, though. There’s a player in this game that, while a lot less prominent than the social media giant, has a lot more danger tied into it: Nextdoor. If you aren’t familiar, Nextdoor is a social media app with about 10 million users that focuses on hyper-locality rather than the large scale of Facebook. It’s more like a hot garbage fire engulfing your neighbor’s trash can rather than your city’s dump. You have to give your address to make an account, and your “group” are your literal neighbors. Apps like these are particularly infamous, from everything to exaggerating fear in local crime and to helping enable racial profiling.

The most telling issue, though, is how difficult it is to moderate these groups. Since hyper-locality is the nature of neighborhood apps, and there’s so much to have to police, it relies on a ton of local moderators. These local moderators are unpaid random members of these communities, so there’s no real incentive for them to do their job right other than just ethical assumptions. Meaning that you’re left relying on an individual’s personal moral compass, which is how we get were reports of moderators deleting posts about Black Lives Matter as a more “mild” example.

These groups end up becoming lawless areas where people tend to throw down over everything and circulate conspiracies and misinformation. Rather than bringing communities together, and helping raise that social capital, they just tear people apart and devolve into massive unmoderated fights over everything from vaccines containing microchips and that tea tree oil is a suitable replacement to washing your hands, to Trump being God’s gift to America fighting against cannibals and pedophiles. Seeing your neighbors spout such insanity creates a McCarthy-level paranoia, leaving people wondering if that kind person from down the street, who always drops a pie around the holidays, is really a card-carrying Antifa assassin or QAnon quack.

4Yoga And New Agey Types Are Getting Into It

Yoga And New Agey Types Are Getting Into It

Surprise: wellness communities are falling into QAnon conspiracies. Who could have expected that the people who believe crystals have magic healing powers have some hot takes on Covid?

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