Nutpicking and Cancel Culture | Erik Brynjolfsson and Lex Fridman | Summary and Q&A

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November 27, 2020
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Lex Clips
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Nutpicking and Cancel Culture | Erik Brynjolfsson and Lex Fridman

TL;DR

Twitter and other social media platforms have revolutionized communication, enabling faster information sharing and scientific advancements, but also facilitating the spread of misinformation, division, and hate.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How has Twitter revolutionized the scientific process among economists?

Twitter, specifically "econ Twitter," has become a platform for economists to share and critique new research papers, allowing for faster knowledge dissemination and scientific advancements in the field.

Q: Why is misinformation more likely to spread on Twitter than the truth?

Twitter's fast-paced nature and emphasis on brevity make it easier for misinformation to spread quickly, often faster than fact-checking efforts can catch up. People vulnerable to misinformation may inadvertently spread it.

Q: What is nut picking, and how does it contribute to division?

Nut picking refers to taking extreme views from one side and amplifying them, creating the impression that they are representative of the entire group. This tactic generates division by painting an inaccurate picture of the opposing side.

Q: How are Russian misinformation campaigns using Twitter to manipulate societal divisions?

Russian misinformation campaigns strategically engage in debates, taking opposite sides to sow discord and promote hatred and distrust among different groups rather than intending for one side to win.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Twitter's ability to facilitate communication among economists has significantly accelerated the scientific process and knowledge sharing.

  • While Twitter has its benefits, it can also be a breeding ground for misinformation and divisive tactics.

  • Nut picking, the act of amplifying extreme views from one side to paint it as typical, is a dangerous phenomenon on Twitter.

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