Posts tagged #social media

Would We Be Less Divided As Nation If Facebook And Twitter Didn't Exist? Or, Are Social Media Platforms A Reflection Of What Lies Within The American Heart?

In our hyper-partisan society, it seems the one thing everyone can agree on is that social media websites like Facebook and Twitter have not made America a more unified and respectful place.

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll reports 57 percent of Americans agree social media networks including Facebook and Twitter do more to divide the country than unite while 35 percent polled apparently have never been on political Twitter because they think the social sites help bring the nation together. One scroll through a politically related Twitter feed and those 35 percent would quickly change their mind.

In addition, 51 percent believe social media spread lies and falsehoods more than spreading news and information.

Sixty-one percent feel social media spreads more unfair attacks and rumors against public figures and corporations while 32 percent think these sites hold public figures and corporations accountable.

Finally, 26 percent say they have blocked or unfriended a contact on Facebook or another social media site due to their political views.

There are good aspects to social media that we all enjoy including learning about news we might’ve missed, watching funny videos and staying in touch with old friends and family.

However, it’s hard to deny these sites have also contributed largely to the hyper-political and hyper-partisan culture we live in. Every day there are people that find something new to be upset, angry and enraged about politically.

The thousands of daily hate-filled, personal attack Tweets aimed at public figures including members of Congress is disturbing. We live in a society that does not respect those in authority.

I’m not saying you have to agree with a representative on any or all issues because their position may go against your own religious and political beliefs but the personal, vile, vulgar, hate-filled posts on social media doesn’t help to move the political discussion forward. It just makes our society and politics more toxic which isn’t good for anyone.

Sometimes I wonder if we didn’t have Facebook and Twitter would our politics be so personal and toxic? Could there be a chance that we’d be less divided on issues and could find more common ground if our national politics didn’t seem like such a battlefield that is fought daily in 280 characters or less on Twitter?

Or, have people always felt this way, and social media just amplifies thoughts and behavior that has always been there?

I believe social media has played a part in creating this more toxic environment that has contributed to our nation becoming more divided, but social sites aren’t the only reason we’re so divided.

The root of our divided country isn’t just the social platforms that allow awful people to say terrible things. The comments online are just a simple reflection of what lies within the users posting these messages.

Unfortunately, our society continues to move further away from a moral and religious foundation which is the main reason our politics and culture have become so dark and toxic. The moral collapse of our country is getting posted, liked, shared and Tweeted daily by the minute.

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Dr. Chad Whittle holds a doctoral degree in mass communication and is the host of “A Whittle Bit of Commentary.” Subscribe today to his podcast on Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Google Play. Read his weekly column at ChadWhittle.com and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

The Mainstream Media Should Be Beacons Of Truth In The Age Of Fake News, But New Poll Shows Many Americans Know They're Not.

According to a new poll of 2,200 Americans conducted by The Hollywood Reporter and Morning Consult, many Americans know what we all know to be true about the mainstream media: the majority of it is liberal.

The study reports 46 percent believe CNN leans liberal and 43 percent believe MSNBC is as well.

Just 12 percent believe CNN is neutral which is still too high of a number.

Broadcast TV networks are believed to have a liberal bias as well with 36 percent believing NBC is liberal, 35 percent for CBS, and 34 percent believe ABC’s coverage is slanted left.

Of the sample, 51 percent believe Fox News is conservative.

The poll also found that 40 percent of Americans believe there should be less coverage of politics with another 40 percent believing TV news should cover world events more. It’s hard to disagree with them on this point.

I’m glad to see there are so many others that are figuring out the agenda of the mainstream media. The more Americans figure out the news coverage they are receiving from mainstream traditional news sources is slanted, the better informed they’ll become because they will seek out more accurate, alternative sources.

In the age of the fake news and misrepresentation spreading all across social media, traditional journalism institutions should be beacons of truth and accuracy. A place Americans can turn to find the truth and not a biased agenda. Sadly, this isn’t the case and probably never will be. They’ll continue to go left, and because of this, their ratings will continue to go south.

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Dr. Chad Whittle holds a doctoral degree in mass communication and is the host of “A Whittle Bit of Commentary.” Subscribe today to his podcast on Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Google Play. Read his weekly column at ChadWhittle.com and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

UK Government Establishing Regulator To Oversee Social Media And The Spread Of "Fake News" And "Disinformation." Will This Lead To Censorship?

The UK government has established the world’s first independent regulator to try and help social media giants like Facebook in check according to CNET.

Companies could face fines for not following the new requirements that will be implemented.

The goal of the new internet regulator is to make the web a safer place.

The regulator will ensure social media networks tackle problems including:

-Incitement of violence and the spread of violent (including terrorist) content

-Encouragement of self-harm or suicide

-The spread of disinformation and fake news

-Cyberbullying

-Children's access to inappropriate material

-Child exploitation and abuse content

The new requirements will apply to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media networks and other websites.

I believe everyone can agree that we don’t want children to have access to pornographic content or that violent inciting content should be widely available online to be viewed. However, what does concern me is who gets to decide what “disinformation” and “fake news” is?

We’ve already seen social sites deactivate and delete the accounts of Alex Jones and other political figures for their posts. While I don’t agree with Jones and others, they should be able to speak freely online unless they are encouraging violence or harm toward others.

While the new UK regulator has no jurisdiction over the U.S. and our access to social media content, this new governmental figure could push the social giants toward blocking certain websites in the UK because they feel it’s “disinformation” or “fake news.”

Wonder if he or she decides that BreitBart or The Daily Caller is “fake news”?

Would you be ok with that? If you’re a liberal, then maybe you’d say yes.

However, what if the new regulator says Mother Jones, CNN, or MSNBC is spreading “disinformation”? Which actually wouldn’t be a lie, CNN spread fake news for two and half years about Trump and Russia, but regardless, I would not agree with their websites being blocked off social media.

It’s a tricky and potential dangerous slippery slope when a government grants someone the ability to fine social sites for content on their websites they deem spreading “disinformation” or “fake news.”

Will this new UK regulator make the internet a safer place or just a more censored place?

I lean towards these new policies creating more censorship than safety.

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Dr. Chad Whittle holds a doctoral degree in mass communication and is the host of “A Whittle Bit of Commentary.” Subscribe today to his podcast on Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Google Play. Read his weekly column at ChadWhittle.com and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Whittle at 'Media Equalizer': Boycotts Hurt All Sides

Our Founding Fathers felt freedom of speech and the press was so vital and important to the continued success of our nation that they granted this right in the First Amendment of the Constitution. They knew all freedoms that followed would rise and fall on the freedom to freely speak and debate political, moral and religious topics.

In 2019, there are more ways than ever to share your viewpoint on any topic imaginable. All you need is a computer, keyboard, a social media account or website, video camera and a microphone. The Internet is the Founding Father’s freedom of speech dreams fully realized.

You no longer have to be on the payroll of a large media company to share your opinion. You can go live on YouTube and reach millions.

While there are almost countless digital media options for Americans to use to share their opinion, there are many politically motivated groups that are trying to stop popular media figures from having the right to speak their mind on the issues of the day.

Read the rest at Media Equalizer Here

Chad Live on Major League Liberty 3/11/2019

Chad joined the crew of Major League Liberty on Monday night to discuss his recent article on the 2020 election and if a Democrat will be able to successfully use social media to face the “Tweeter-in-Chief” Donald Trump. Dr. Whittle’s interview starts at 8:43 in the video. Read Chad’s article here

If Christians and the Church Want to Bring Millennials and Gen Z Back to the Church, They Need To Start Producing More Media Content to Reach Them

Recent research has shown a growing decline in church attendance and religious affiliation among millennials and Generation Z in the United States.  For many church leaders, this decline is troubling, and some are not sure how or what to do to bring young adults back to sitting in the pews.

If churches want to bring young Americans back to houses of worship, religious leaders will need to take the message outside of the four walls of a traditional church and go where millennials and Generation Z live: online and on social media.

Prior generational leaders like Pat Robertson and the late Billy Graham understood the power and influence of the media which is why Robertson founded “The Christian Broadcast Network,” and Rev. Graham aired his sermons on radio and television.

However, unlike past generations, young Americans are exposed to media messages constantly that offer them various worldviews and opinions on morality. They no longer need to attend a physical church to hear about spirituality anymore either. They can simply download a podcast or watch a debate about current topics on YouTube. 

For this age group, it is much more convenient and natural to watch a video online than attend a church. This is why the church needs to do more to reach this age group online and through other media. However, if you want your content to be taken seriously by Generation Z, you better bring your A-game.

There is an endless digital sea of videos you can stream on YouTube or watch on Netflix. If you want your videos to stand out, you need to make it not only informative and thought-provoking but entertaining as well. When you have a generation that has grown up to waking up in the morning to their iPhones and spending all day with their device until they fall asleep with the phone at night in their bed, you must produce quality content that stands out from all the noise. They are smart and can spot poor quality and badly produced cheap content.

This is not to say there isn’t quality Christian content in the media now including Christian music, some films and YouTube videos from popular creators like John Crist; we just need more Christian content that is available for young adults on YouTube, Netflix, and social media. 

Churches should consider creating a media fund to help financially support those within their membership and in their local communities that have the skills and talent to produce quality, informative and entertaining media content. Or, partner with those that have the resources to produce this content.

Millennials and Generation Z are not going to stop using the web and social media. The more exposed to Christian messages they are in their news feeds the better. If you reach them where they are and how they consume content, some of them might just find their closest Uber one Sunday morning to attend a worship service. The backdrop of an old church building or a contemporary one with lights and fog would make a great selfie for Instagram.

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Chad Whittle holds a doctoral degree in mass communication and is the host of “A Whittle Bit of Commentary.” Subscribe today to his podcast on Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Google Play. Read his weekly column at ChadWhittle.com and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Chad Whittle on The Melody Burns Show 3/7/19

Dr. Whittle joined Melody Burns to discuss the 2020 presidential election and how the candidates will use social media like Twitter to reach the voters with their message.

Chad at 'The Stream': Which Democrat Will Win the Twitter Primary to Face the Tweeter-in-Chief in 2020?

The 2020 primary is underway on the Democrat side of the aisle with almost every Democrat in America planning or considering launching a bid for the nomination. It will be interesting to watch the cable networks try to fit all of the Democrats onto the same stage for a debate.

We live in a new era in presidential politics thanks to social media and partially to Donald Trump, who used Twitter and other social media to his advantage in 2016.

The traditional way of winning the White House is to knock on doors, kiss babies, and hold campaign rallies in swing states. While these activities are still helpful and necessary, there is another component that is just as important, if not more important in modern politics: winning the social media primary.

Read the rest from Chad’s latest published article here at The Stream

Chad at 'Politichicks': Parents Should Limit Children’s Screen Time To Protect Their Moral And Spiritual Health

The UK Daily Mail reported on a recently released Ofcom (UK’s version of the FCC) study that said children as young as five are already spending hours per day online.

The study found children under five spend over an hour online per day. That number rises to over four hours per day when gaming and TV time are included. Children 12-15 years old spend nearly three hours per day online plus two additional hours watching TV. The study stopped at age 15, but if you have any older teenagers or college students, you don’t need a study to tell you how much they are on their phones or the computer. You witness it every day and almost every hour.

Other than the obvious problems including health issues like “text neck” and the lack of socializing with friends outside a screen, there is the concerning matter of the messages children are exposed to at this early age.

Read the rest at Politichicks

Netflix Has Found Religion: Streaming Service To Launch Christian Shows. Microsoft's New Browser Warns You About Fake News and Chick Fil A Keeping The Faith And Not Opening On Big Game Sunday 2/1/19

Fox News reported that Netflix is planning to launch a slate of original faith and family-friendly programming that will be exclusive on the video service. 

Microsoft’s mobile browser, Edge, is issuing fake news warnings to users in a new update for iOS and Android devices.

The news fake news warning is powered by NewsGuard, which rates each website you browse to and gives it either a red warning for unreliable or green for trusted in your address bar. 

This idea sounds good in theory, to help people know they’re visiting a website that may contain fake news, but my question is, who gets to define what “fake news” is? And what journalists are involved in deciding which websites are real and fake?

If you’ve deleted your Facebook over privacy concerns or never signed up to a social media website to begin with, you better hope you picked your friends wisely  because according to a new study, your behavior can be predicted even if you’ve never been on social media.

StudyFinds.org reported that a team of scientists from Vermont and Australia found that by examining the tweets of those close to someone, they could predict a person’s behavior, even if they’re not on social media!

Plus, Facebook has pledged to invest $300 million in local news initiatives, including partnerships, programs, and content over the next three years according to The Blaze.

“The company said it would focus on supporting local newsrooms and helping news organizations build sustainable business models.

Not even a Super Bowl can get Chick fil a to open on Sunday. With the big game taking place at on Sunday Febuary 3rd in Atlanta, many have wondered if the tasty chicken sandwich  restaurant will open its Mercedes-Benz Stadium location for the big game. 

All that today on this edition of "A Whittle Bit of Commentary." ChadWhittle.com (C) 2019 Chad Whittle. 

 

Future Political Power Belongs To Those That Tweet. Social Media is the Daisy Ad of 21st Century Politics

This may come as a surprise to many, but President Trump and Barack Obama have one thing in common when it comes to how they won the White House: Twitter. Unlike their competition, both men understood our modern culture and how important and influential social media is. This is something John McCain, Mitt Romney or Hillary Clinton never understood.

McCain, Romney, and Clinton all ran campaigns that would’ve had a better chance of success about 30 years ago. Each candidate never focused their main media efforts on social media. They instead went with a traditional campaign by hitting the campaign trail and talking with local residents, buying TV ad time, participating in debates and scheduling interviews on cable news shows. I’m not saying you shouldn’t still do those things for the 2020 election because each is still important to the success of your campaign. However, none of those efforts can drive the conversation about your campaign like social media can.

Looking at the ages of McCain, Romney, and Clinton compared to Obama you could simply say it’s just a generational thing that the younger Obama knew and understood more about social media’s power than his Baby Boomer opponents. However, 72-year-old Trump blows up that argument.

Like Obama, Trump’s team had a keen understanding on not just the power and influence of social media but how to use it to control the narrative and drive the national conversation. No one could ever be better at this than Trump. He is the Twitter master.

With one simple meme or Tweet, Trump during his campaign and now will receive countless hours of coverage on cable news shows and in newspapers across the country. Most days the traditional media no longer drives the daily political narrative, but instead it is merely reacting to what has occurred on social media.

According to Axios, newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is now second to Trump on total Twitter interactions defined as retweets and likes. This is why you recognize her name. There are other first-term Senators, but how many of them can you name? Unlike her, they have not mastered or understand the power of social media.  

Future political power belongs to those that understand how to use social media effectively. Twitter is the Daisy or Willie Horton ad of 21st century politics.   

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