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#Thuggerati

Glossary: The #Thuggerati…

Mike Fealty:

Anonymous Thuggerati operate as a sort of “fog machine” aimed at sowing doubt and discouraging critical discussion of otherwise tractable realities. It features the introduction of taboos on specific forms of information or categories of news. It involves the simplification of complex matter of common interest, confirmation of ingroup bias and endless repetition of memes in order to inculcate favourable views towards a given party or government and isolate and ostracise unfavourable ones.

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This behaviour thrives in unmoderated network platforms like Facebook and Twitter that have, by default, become the backrooms of western democracy. It is a shadow opportunity provided by their homophilous filter bubbles. So it’s a feature, not a bug. Its overall effect is to increase cynicism and apathy while it reduces available opportunities for purpose-led debate, materially engaged conversations amongst peers and open-ended, tolerant and transformative dialogue between opponents.

I’m reminded why I never want to go back to Twitter or Facebook. I had a few run-ins with this kind of behaviour back when I was on those social networks. Thankfully, I wasn’t directly targeted, but it was really ugly and I felt for the people they were going after.

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