Finally finished the syllabus for my brand-spanking-new class!
The “network” is the 21st century’s most popular metaphor, used to describe relationships, economies, the movement of people and goods around the globe, technological infrastructures, and politics. In this class, we will delve into the relationship between networked digital technologies (social media, video games, server farms, gig economy apps like Uber, etc.); networked logistics, finances, and labor; and the ways we think about ourselves, our communities, our careers, our possessions and our futures. Specifically, this semester we will be using amazon.com, the world’s biggest retailer (and most valuable US company), to examine the impact of digital and communication technologies on labor, supply chains, publishing, retail, urban planning, web hosting, infrastructures, and gaming, to name but a few.
I’m really proud of this paper. It’s my attempt to further a new model of media effects that takes into account active audiences, media messages, and technological affordances. I focus on conservative audiences for fake news as a case study.
Basically: People share fake news because it furthers partisan narratives that are promoted by mainstream (mostly) conservative media and expresses personal and political identity.
Most fake news isn’t political, but sensational. Still more is created to be polysemic and appeal to people across the political spectrum in order to increase viewership (and therefore money).
Conservative fake news doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Much of it builds on “deep stories” that have been present on Fox News for decades.