For months, political pundits have predicted that there could be a “red wave” in the upcoming midterm elections. High inflation, high gasoline prices, and shaky consumer confidence played in the Republican Party’s favor, but the Democrats, led by President Joe Biden, had an especially good August. That in turn, has resulted in some now forecasting more of a “red ripple” than a wave, and some GOP leaders have even suggested the Democrats could retain control of the Senate.
Current polls show now voters leaning towards the Democrats, but social media could tell another story, where many users are still maintaining that there will be a red wave. At the same time, as many users on the social platforms – perhaps even more – have suggested for months that a blue wave is actually coming.
How can both be right?
During recent election cycles, social media has become another gauge that can help predict who will be cheering and who might be jeering on election night. But it largely depends on who you listen to, as both sides are especially amped up. This can result in a misreading of the proverbial tea leaves.
In other words, social media remains especially biased – but not necessarily to one side.
“In his book Ten Reasons for Deleting Your Social Media Account Right Now, author Jaron Lanier discounts arguments about social media being biased to the left or right. Instead, the correct directional bias description seems to be down, as in that’s where we’re all being dragged,” warned Craig Barkacs, professor of business law and ethics in the Master’s in Executive Leadership and MBA Programs at the Knauss School of Business at the University of San Diego.
“Social media thrives on clicks, which means in the political realm it has little or no interest in accuracy or objectivity,” Barkacs explained. “Bias and conflict attract attention and it’s that attention that brings in revenue. So it follows that there’s nothing like an intense red-versus-blue-equals-green contest during the political season to whip people into a frenzy and drive up the dollars.”
In fact, social media platforms often organize our content feeds based on what it thinks users want to see.
“If we have told the platform—directly or indirectly—that we are progressive or conservative, Democrats or Republicans, then social media platforms will show us content that leans in our political direction,” said Julianna Kirschner, Ph.D, lecturer for the Master of Communication Management program at the University of Southern California.
That has created echo chambers that only reinforce what one already thinks or what the platforms assume the users are thinking. Often, any biases can seem magnified, meaning that it is easy to overestimate one’s own beliefs as more representative of the larger population than they actually are.
“Social media is inherently biased in its current form because the proprietary nature of their algorithms organize the content we see to reinforce our biases,” explained Kirschner. “If enough time is spent in these virtual spaces, voters and some public figures may think there will be a blue wave or a red wave during this year’s midterms, simply because what they are seeing on social media platforms reinforce these beliefs.”
Platforms of Discourse Not Discussion
Social media has become a platform for discourse, not discussion – but it is also an echo chamber where like-minded individuals share their opinions. Thus it is easy to see how both sides can make bold predictions about the upcoming election. It would be unwise to predict an outcome based on those heated discussions.
Even those who take the time to do more than just tear down the other side, often fail to truly make a good argument, but should we really shouldn’t expect more?
“The writers/posters are mainly amateurs that have never uttered a journalistic creed of impartiality. Almost the whole of social media is an op-ed page; only the writers are more vitriolic and the language duller,” said James Bailey, professor of leadership at the George Washington University School of Business. “Using Social Media as a temperature gauge is making a grave mistake for several reasons.”
What is often said on social media isn’t vetted, so its veracity is in serious question, noted Bailey, who added, “It does not represent the population as a whole. Rather, it is written by those who have the time and inclination. If you reach into an urn with 19 red balls and one blue ball, chances are you’ll draw a red ball. Anyone—from politicians to businesspeople—that bases decisions of consequence on social media is playing with fire. A fire that is more than likely here today and gone tomorrow.”
Twitter Is Exclusive Social Media Partner For Live Look-Ins At All 2022 MLB Postseason Games – Forbes
Those away from their televisions will have a way to see live-streamed look-ins of every game of the 2022 Major League Baseball postseason.
In an expansion of their partnership, starting today, Twitter
will show live segments and highlights via @MLB, @BleacherReport, @BRWalkoff, @ESPN, @MLBonFOX, and other accounts. Other content will be produced by @MLBNetwork.
For the social media platform, they’ve seen high levels of engagement all season long with much of it reaching outside the U.S. and Canada. According to Twitter in an exclusive to Forbes, 18% of people who tweeted about MLB globally this season had not done so during the 2021 season, thus showing growth in fan interest on the platform.
In a sign that two-way pitching and hitting sensation Shohei Ohtani is reaching fans outside MLB’s traditional market range, over one-quarter of the conversation – 28% — has been generated outside the United States. Two of the top 10 most used hashtags during the 2022 MLB season during social conversation globally have been in Japanese (#大谷翔平 – Shohei Ohtani and #エンゼルス – Angels).
For hashtags, Twitter reports that the two most used during MLB conversation have been #MLB and #LGM, the hashtag for the New York Mets. There was a 45% YoY increase in usage of the hashtag #MLBTwitter globally.
For accounts referenced, @yankees has been the most mentioned team globally in 2022 on Twitter thus far, followed by @dodgers and @redsox. All but the latter will be in the postseason beginning with the ALDS and NLDS that follow the Wild Card Series.
As for players, unsurprisingly, @TheJudge44 is the most mentioned player handle globally given his single-season American League home run chase. Judge reached 62 home runs during the final away series for the Yankees when they played the Texas Rangers this week. Judge was followed by @MikeTrout of the Angels, and Albert Pujols (@pujolsfive) who reached the 700 homerun milestone this season. Pujols will continue to play in the postseason with the St. Louis Cardinals. It is assumed that Pujols – a certain Hall of Famer – will retire at the end of the season.
You may be asking, what were the most retweeted MLB tweets this year? Three of the top four were from the Dodgers, with ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan claiming fourth>
#1 – Kpop sensation ENHYPEN at Dodger Stadium
#2 – Dodgers announce the passing of legendary broadcaster Vin Scully
#3 – ENHYPEN at Dodger Stadium
#4 – Passan announces that MLB and the MLBPA reach a labor deal ending the 99-day lockout.
Latinos Continue To Be Underrepresented In The Media Business – Forbes
A recent report from the Government Accounting Office (GAO) found Latinos continue to be underrepresented in the media business. Although Latinos now account for nearly 19% of the U.S. population, up from 15% in 2010, the GAO study found Latinos represent only 12% of the media workforce compared to 18% of the total workplace. Furthermore, Latinos account for an even lower 4% of media management positions. (Media workers include employment in television, film, news, etc. and includes such positions as actors, camera operators and journalists, etc.)
While the Latino population continues to increase at a higher rate than the overall U.S. population, GAO noted little progress of Latinos employed in the media industry. Hispanic employment growth in the media workplace has been negligible, increasing from 11% in 2010 to 12% in 2019. (Latinos in the total workforce grew from 15% to 18%.) The GAO findings were announced by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) at the National Press Club. In his remarks Castro noted of his childhood in Texas, “The faces and the places that I saw on screen back then, and really since then, hardly ever matched the reality around me on the West Side of San Antonio.”
Rep. Castro added, “Latino representation in American media isn’t much better than it was back then.” Castro along with several other lawmakers had been pushing Congress to look at the diversity in the media industry.
In commenting about the study, Sonia Pérez, the CEO of UnidosUS, a not-for-profit organization said, “It’s distressing that we are still talking about this issue of Hispanic media underrepresentation.” For example, the Latino Donor Collaborative found in modern mainstream entertainment Latinos accounted for only 3.1% of all lead actors in modern mainstream entertainment – with even lower numbers for co-leads/ensemble actors (2.1%), showrunners (1.5%), and directors (1.3%).
Despite the lack of diversity, the MPA reports Latinos have historically gone to the movie theaters more often than any other ethnic segment. Nielsen reports as a viewing source Latinos spend more time with streaming video than any other ethnic group. In addition, Spotify notes that 11 of 20 most streamed songs this summer came from Latino artists.
The GAO report said Latino females were even more underrepresented than males. Below is a breakout of media subsections.
- All media occupations: 10% (7% men, 3% women)
- Television, video, and film camera operators and editors: 14% (11% men, 3% women)
- Other media and communication equipment workers: 13% (12% men, 1% women)
- Designers: 13% (11% men, 2% women)
- Photographers: 12% (10% men, 2% women)
- Broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys: 12% (8% men, 4% women)
- Artists and related workers: 11% (7% men, 4% women)
- Producers and directors: 11% (7% men, 4% women)
- Actors: 11% (7% men, 4% women)
- News analysts, reports, and journalists: 11% (5% men, 6% women)
- Graphic designers: 10% (8% men, 2% women)
- Editors: 7% (4% men, 3% women)
- Writers and authors: 7% (3% men, 4% women)
The report noted the challenges Latinos face in entering the media workplace including unions, lack of diversity with talent agents, a lack of diversity in decision makers (e.g., executives), financial obstacles, difficulty to network, difficulty to join a union and education.
The GAO issued some recommendations to improve ethnic diversity in the media industry including:
- The Chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) work with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to develop a new memorandum of understanding that includes a plan for EEOC to routinely share data with FCC regarding discrimination charges filed against broadcasters and cable and satellite television operators.
- The Chair of EEOC should improve EEOC’s approach to routinely identify local unions required to file an EEO-3 report to help ensure that they file such reports on the demographics of union members.
Despite a growing and youthful population, an annual buying power approaching $2 trillion, a GDP that would be the fifth largest economy in the world, they are largely ignored. Rep. Castro noted, “Our stories remain almost entirely missing from the American narrative.”
Bank of Canada Media Interview – CBC Radio – Bank of Canada
Tiff Macklem, Governor of the Bank of Canada, was interviewed on CBC’s radio show Cost of Living. The program airs Sunday at 12:05 (Eastern Time) and will also be available as a podcast. Please check local listings for channel information, or go to www.cbc.ca/radio/costofliving.
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