Summary of “After a week of Russian propaganda, I was questioning everything”

Like its sister outlet RT, Sputnik is a Russian government-funded media outlet, widely seen by Russia experts as a vehicle to disseminate disinformation for the Kremlin, and, like its space-dwelling namesake, to make the West look bad. While RT is television, Sputnik lives on the radio, a wire service and website.
Today, Sputnik operates in 34 countries in more than 30 languages, including, as of this past summer, on an FM station in Washington, D.C. When Sputnik launched stateside, the investigations into Russia’s supposed interference in the U.S. election were accelerating, and the media outlet was greeted with critical coverage.
Because its provider is now a foreign agent, Sputnik is now required to disclose that it is funded by the Russian government.
Over the last month, questioning the chemical attack in Douma dominated the news at Sputnik.
While at Sputnik’s offices, I also sat down with Mindia Gavasheli, a Russian national who runs Sputnik’s D.C. newsroom.
When I sat down with Lee Stranahan, the former Breitbart reporter, who calls himself a “Political futurist,” he shrugged off the idea that Sputnik was Russian propaganda by employing some whataboutism of his own.
“When you work for Sputnik, you get called a traitor and a Putin puppet But why does no one bring up the coup we fomented?” he said, referring to Russian allegations that the U.S. fomented a coup in Ukraine.
As one last attempt to better understand Sputnik, I put myself on a weeklong Sputnik media diet.

The orginal article.

Summary of “NBA players know they’re addicted to their phones. Good luck getting them to unplug.”

This season, the Bucks – not the team, but the players – implemented a rule: Stay off your phone before games.
General phone use – and especially social media – is off limits.
The phone – as ubiquitous in an NBA workspace as X’s and O’s on the whiteboard – has the locker-room veteran breaking the rules.
NBA players are a special breed, blessed with skill and athleticism, yet they are not unlike most of us: They, too, are obsessed with checking their phones, thumbing through Twitter and liking photos on Instagram.
Memphis Grizzlies rookie Dillon Brooks says he has tried to break his college habit of checking his phone – curious to see the instant reactions after he hit a big shot or flopped theatrically for the Oregon Ducks – but once he got to the NBA and saw teammates glued to their devices, he followed suit.
He is equally likely to retweet a Zen message from Hindu guru Mata Amritanandamayi as he is to mock a lifestyle Twitter account for not including him among the best dressed players in the NBA. He carries two phones and will often pick up one immediately after participating in the team’s morning shoot-around.
“Just like almost every other person on the planet these days, they’re addicted. They’re probably more addicted to their phone and their social media,” Taylor says.
“They’re not on their phones when we’re in a pregame meeting, they’re not on their phones when we’re in meetings, they’re not on their phones when they’re out there playing. But every other time, as soon as I walk out of the postgame meeting. . .”

The orginal article.

Summary of “On Social Media and Its Discontents”

Younger progressives were fiercely in favor of social media and were often appalled that people like me might say something negative about these services.
To criticize social media was to criticize the internet’s general ability to do useful things like connect people, spread information, and support activism and expression.
There’s a distinction between the social internet and social media.
Understanding the difference between these two statements is crucial if we’re going to make progress on the issues surrounding social media that have, during the last year, finally entered our mainstream cultural conversation.
If we fail to distinguish the social internet from social media, we’ll proceed by attempting to reform social media through better self-regulation and legislative controls – an approach I believe to be insufficient on its own.
On the other hand, if we recognize that the benefits of the social internet can exist outside the increasingly authoritarian confines of the algorithmic attention economy, we can explore attempts to replace social media with better alternatives.
As proponents of this approach have pointed out, social protocols hold the potential to revolutionize the social internet.
I’m interested instead in providing a flavor of the types of options that emerge once we begin to realize that the social internet and social media are not the same thing, and that this reality gives us more options than we might have first imagined for improving our digital lives.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Balance Your Media Diet”

Our difficulty in controlling ourselves in the face of abundance neatly intersects with the business model of the attention economy, which means media needs to ever increase the amount to time you spend consuming it.
The media we eat for 12 hours on average a day constitute the bulk of the ideas we consume.
Beyond engagement, there is also of course active media production, which is part of normal everyday media consumption now.
Self help books are the fastest growing segment of books, for example, as we all try to make ourselves better employees and succesful capitalists, but to the detriment of wider media consumption, especially the arts, which help build the non-obvious connections needed to create ideas and enhances overall intelligence and empathy.
“Now, let’s be clear: just because a media site is biased does not mean it’s disreputable! For example, The Wall Street Journal may skew right while The Atlantic may skew left, but both sites do their due diligence and produce high-quality articles that are worth reading. Having a slight political bias is perfectly normal.The problem arises when a site is so driven by its bias that it begins to misrepresent reality, such as by distorting the opposition’s viewpoint or producing fake news and conspiracy theories.This is what you want to avoid.” #NotAllMediaNot all books are created equal, but we can in general say that reading books has different reported effects that playing games or watching shows.
The pyramid is designed to help us be mindful of the media we consume not to be absolutely accurate - it will keep evolving over time.
We must be mindful about always consuming media with intent - it’s the best way not to be consumed by media.
With such principles and provisos established, we’ll continue to evolve the pyramid and map out some of the drivers and consequences and in part three, as we continue to consider what a balanced media diet is, and why.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The screen time debate is pitting parents against each other”

Parenting now means having the “Smartphone debate” – not just with your kids, constantly – but with other parents.
Hell is other people’s screen time policies Riding shotgun, Riddhi’s artist friend, who was confident in her parenting and not one to mince words, said she and her husband didn’t let their kid ever see a screen in his first two years.
Until some massive industry or regulatory reconsideration takes effect – and it may never, given the business interests at play – parents are still the only regulators attempting to set rules for their kids and hashing out best practices with other parents.
In a Facebook parenting group, Julie sees other parents posting things like, “I’m not one of those crazy people who don’t let their kids have screen time.” Her response: “I do judge secretly,” she says.
Cap media to one hour a day for kids ages two to five, but with caveats: make it educational programming, no fast-paced or violent content, no apps with too many distractions, no screens at meals or for an hour before bedtime, and parents should co-view media with their kid and reteach the lessons.
Still, parents are realizing they can’t filter screens on their own; they need to enlist other parents and schools of the same mind.
The AAP policy also includes guidelines for parental screen time, citing studies that indicate that parents on their phones interact less with their kids, may have more conflict with them, and their own use is a likely predictor of their kids’ habits.
Where are our parents to set the limits? Parents don’t need scientific research to tell them phones can be dangerous; they can deduce the ills from their own overuse.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Fake news is an existential crisis for social media”

By failing to be pro-active about the existential threat posed by digitally accelerated disinformation, social media platforms have unwittingly made the case for external regulation of their global information-shaping and distribution platforms louder and more compelling than ever.
The other problem is the lack of incentive for social media companies to robustly investigate fake news.
Publishers have their own biases too, of course, but those biases tend to be writ large – vs social media platforms’ faux claims of neutrality when in fact their profit-seeking algorithms have been repeatedly caught preferring dis- and misinformation over and above truthful but less clickable content.
So it’s interesting to see Goldman’s suggested answer to social media’s existential fake news problem attempting, even now, to deflect blame – by arguing that the US education system should take on the burden of arming citizens to deconstruct all the dubious nonsense that social media platforms are piping into people’s eyeballs.
Fake news is also insidious because of the lack of civic restrains on disinformation agents, which makes maliciously minded fake news so much more potent and problematic than plain old digital advertising.
Social media firms spent a very long time indeed trying to sell the ludicrous fallacy that content about slippers and maliciously crafted political propaganda, mass-targeted tracelessly and inexpensively via their digital ad platforms, was essentially the same stuff.
Look back over the last few years’ news about fake news, and social media platforms have demonstrably sought to play down the idea that the content distributed via their platforms might have had any sort of quantifiable impact on the democratic process at all.
All of this is why fake news is an existential problem for social media.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Study of 1 Million Teenagers Reveals This Much Screen Time a Day Leads to the Happiest Kids”

Think your teenager would be happier if he or she spent no time texting, using social media, or playing games on phones or tablets?
Granted, this study shows that adolescents who spent more time on social media, the Internet, texting, etc.
Totally cutting out screen time didn’t make teens as happy, either.
As Jean Twenge, one of the authors of the study, says, “The key to digital media use and happiness is limited use. Aim to spend no more than two hours a day on digital media, and try to increase the amount of time you spend seeing friends face-to-face and exercising – two activities reliably linked to greater happiness.”
While Twenge stresses that the study does not prove that higher screen time causes higher levels of unhappiness, psychological well-being was found to be lower in years when teens spent more time on screens and higher in years when they spent more time on non-screen activities – with increases in screen time typically occurring before happiness levels declined.
In simple terms, kids who spend time on social media and watching videos tend to become less happy, not more.
Of course the solution – limiting your kids’ screen time to around an hour a day – is simple in theory, but much harder in practice.
If nothing else, make every meal device-free – and to make sure those dinners are engaging, put as much time into preparing to have interesting conversations as you do into preparing the food.

The orginal article.

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Social media is terrible, and social media is amazing.
It inundates us with panic-inducing news and rage-inducing hot takes; it also keeps us connected to our friends, professional circles, and news from around the world.
The key is figuring out what social media is good for-for you-and then getting other things that you need from somewhere else.
You can use Freedom to block Twitter from your phone until 10am, but if Twitter is the only place you get news, you may spend your morning worrying about what breaking news you’re missing out on-not to mention lacking articles to browse on the train in to work.
Back before the endless scroll of the social media feed, one way we got our electronic news was via RSS readers, helpful tools that aggregated the feeds of our favorite sites and blogs, listing new articles so we could browse and determine what we wanted to read. The best and most beautiful RSS reader is no longer with us, but others still exist.
You can make separate lists for national news, essays, blogs, or publications in your own field.
Of course, social media isn’t only about news and reading material-it’s also a way we stay connected to our friends.
Social contact on social media can feel thin, but it’s not insignificant, and if you don’t fill the void, you’ll have, well, a void.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What The Screen Time Experts Do With Their Own Kids”

What The Screen Time Experts Do With Their Own Kids : NPR Ed Many of these experts are also parents, and their work informs their approach to making rules with their kids about phones, TV and other media.
Parents today struggle to set screen time guidelines.
Grandma doesn’t have any tried-and-true sayings about iPad time.
So when I was interviewing dozens of them for my book The Art of Screen Time, I asked them how they made screen time rules at home.
They have a family movie night on Fridays, which is an example of the principle Radesky touts in her research, of “Joint media engagement,” or simply sharing screen time.
More than just limiting time, says Radesky, “I try to help my older son be aware of the way he reacts to video games or how to interpret information we find online.” For example, she tries to explain how he is being manipulated by games that ask him to make purchases while playing.
She sums up her findings from over a decade of research: “As kids and adults watch or use screens, with light shining in their eyes and close to their face, bedtime gets delayed. It takes longer to fall asleep, sleep quality is reduced and total sleep time is decreased.”
Tom Warshawski, a pediatrician in Canada and founder of the Childhood Obesity Foundation there, has been involved in education efforts to get parents to cut back on media time.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Social networks are broken. This man wants to fix them.”

Ethan Zuckerman studies how people change the world, or attempt to, by using social media or other technological means.
Zuckerman spoke with MIT Technology Review about how social media started controlling us rather than the other way around.
The point in all of these is that if you can’t get social change done through the traditional model of civics, there is a whole new set of tools, and people are starting to learn how to use these things.
Social networks like Facebook and Twitter control, or at least direct, the information we see by using algorithms to filter what we see in our feed.
We’re trying to make the case that you want those different social networks because you want more control over your filters about what you see and what you don’t see.
A growing chorus of former Facebook executives and investors have been speaking out against Facebook-saying, for example, that social media is “Ripping apart the fabric of how society works.”
You wrote a piece in the Atlantic that suggested a publicly supported social network as a potential solution to social media’s echo-chamber effect.
I could imagine an innovative European public broadcaster saying, “Maybe we build a social network that’s compatible with other social networks, has algorithms designed to help you tune whether you’re getting news about the world, news about your community, and makes those levers visible and controllable.”

The orginal article.