A new survey by Harvard University finds more than two-thirds of young Americans disapprove of President Trump’s use of Twitter. The implication is that Millennials prefer news from the White House to be filtered through other source, Not a president’s social media platform.
Most Americans rely on social media to check daily headlines. Yet as distrust has risen toward all media, people may be starting to beef up their media literacy skills. Such a trend is badly needed. During the 2016 presidential campaign, nearly a quarter of web content shared by Twitter users in the politically critical state of Michigan was fake news, according to the University of Oxford. And a survey conducted for BuzzFeed News found 44 percent of Facebook users rarely or never trust news from the media giant.
Young people who are digital natives are indeed becoming more skillful at separating fact from fiction in cyberspace. A Knight Foundation focus-group survey of young people between ages 14and24 found they use “distributed trust” to verify stories. They cross-check sources and prefer news from different perspectives—especially those that are open about any bias. “Many young people assume a great deal of personal responsibility for educating themselves and actively seeking out opposing viewpoints,” the survey concluded.
Such active research can have another effect. A 2014 survey conducted in Australia, Britain, and the United States by the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that young people’s reliance on social media led to greater political engagement.
Social media allows users to experience news events more intimately and immediately while also permitting them to re-share news as a projection of their values and interests. This forces users to be more conscious of their role in passing along information. A survey by Barna research group found the top reason given by Americans for the fake news phenomenon is “reader error,” more so than made-up stories or factual mistakes in reporting. About a third say the problem of fake news lies in “misinterpretation or exaggeration of actual news” via social media. In other words, the choice to share news on social media may be the heart of the issue. “This indicates there is a real personal responsibility in counteracting this problem,” says Roxanne Stone, editor in chief at Barna Group.
So when young people are critical of an over-tweeting president, they reveal a mental discipline in thinking skills – and in their choices on when to share on social media.
There will eventually come a day when The New York Times ceases to publish stories on newsprint. Exactly when that day will be is a matter of debate. “Sometime in the future,” the paper’s publisher said back in 2010.
Nostalgia for ink on paper and the rustle of pages aside, there’s plenty of incentive to ditch print. The infrastructure required to make a physical newspaper-printing presses, delivery trucks — isn’t just expensive; it’s excessive at a time when online-only competitors don’t have the same set of financial constraints. Readers are migrating away from print anyway. And though print and sales still dwarf their online and mobile counterparts, revenue from print is still declining.
Overhead may be high and circulation lower, but risking to eliminate its print edition would be a mistake, says BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Pere.
Peretti says the Times shouldn’t waste time getting out of the print business, but only if they go about do, it the right way. “Figuring out a way to accelerate that transition would make sense for them,” he said, “but if you discontinue it, you’re going to have your most loyal customers really upset with you.”
Sometimes that’s worth making a change anyway. Peretti gives the example of Netflix discontinuing its DVD-mailing service to focus on streaming. “It was seen as a blunder,” he said. The move turned out to be foresighted. And if Peretti were in charge at the Times? “I wouldn’t pick a year to end print,” he said. “I would raise prices and make it into more of a legacy product.”
The most loyal customers would still get the product they favor, the idea goes, and they’d feel like they were helping sustain the quality of something they believe in. “So if you are overpaying for print, you could feel like you were helping,” Peretti said, “Then increase it at a higher rate each year and essentially try to generate additional revenue.” In other words, if you’re going to make a print product, make it for the people who are already obsessed with it, Which may be what the Times is doing already. Getting the print edition seven days a week costs nearly $500 a year — more than twice as much as a digital-only subscription.
“It’s a really hard thing to do and it’s a tremendous luxury that BuzzFeed doesn’t have a legacy business,” Peretti remarked. “But we’re going to have questions like that where we have things we’re doing that don’t make sense when the market changes and the world changes. In those situations, it’s better to be more aggressive than less aggressive.”
An old saying has it that half of all advertising budgets are wasted-the trouble is, no one knows which half. In the internet age, at least in theory, this fraction can be much reduced. By watching what people search for, click on and say online, companies can aim “behavioural” ads at those most likely to buy.
In the past couple of weeks a quarrel has illustrated the value to advertisers of such fine-grained information: Should advertisers assume that people are happy to be tracked and sent behavioural ads? Or should they have explicit permission?
In December 2010 America’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed adding a “do not track “(DNT) option to internet browsers ,so that users could tell advertisers that they did not want to be followed .Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Apple’s Safari both offer DNT ;Google’s Chrome is due to do so this year（2011）. In February（2011） the FTC and Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) agreed that the industry would get cracking on responding to DNT requests.
On May 31st（2011） Microsoft Set off the row: It said that Internet Explorer 10, the version due to appear windows 8, would have DNT as a default.
It is not yet clear how advertisers will respond. Getting a DNT signal does not oblige anyone to stop tracking, although some companies have promised to do so. Unable to tell whether someone really objects to behavioural ads or whether they are sticking with Microsoft’s default, some may ignore a DNT signal and press on anyway.
Also unclear is why Microsoft has gone it alone. After all, it has an ad business too, which it says will comply with DNT requests, though it is still working out how. If it is trying to upset Google, which relies almost wholly on default will become the norm. DNT does not seem an obviously huge selling point for windows 8-though the firm has compared some of its other products favourably with Google’s on that count before. Brendon Lynch, Microsoft’s chief privacy officer, blogger: “we believe consumers should have more control.” Could it really be that simple?