Friday, November 11, 2016

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By Thomas URBAN, with Rob lever in Washington

in the Face of the hostility of many of the major media, Donald Trump has conveyed his message by conservative media and social networks, stormed by his supporters who have made it a platform of alternative information.

Barack Obama was the first president of the era of social networks, but they were for him as a relay. Donald Trump has made his first vector of communication.

“Trump could change the direction of a story through Twitter, because he had a considerable number of subscribers,” said Alan Rosenblatt, consultant, digital consulting firms Lake Research Partners and Turner4D.

The format of Twitter allowed Donald Trump to place his speech without contradiction on his thread, which is in a format that is attractive, direct and punchy.

The business man, new york has also been able to count on the support of several information sites conservatives, the first of which Breitbart News, a platform very éditorialisée which has become a reference for the electorate, a republican.

In the course of the campaign, Donald Trump has even hired in August, Stephen Bannon, the director general of the site, as chairman of its campaign committee.

Among republicans is a growing feeling that the traditional press is on the left and that conservatives should have their own platforms” information, ” explains Alan Rosenblatt.

Despite the continuous publication of information compromising the traditional media, its fiscal situation to the accusations of gestures to several women, the real estate developer is able to maintain momentum throughout the campaign.

beyond the Twitter feed of Donald Trump, some of his supporters have used social networks to produce other information, which was slipping out of control about its reliability.

“It has become possible to construct an alternative discourse, I would say an alternative reality”, writes Gabriel Kahn, a professor at the Annenberg School of Journalism at the university of USC.

“that way you have counter-truths and lies which have come to pass in the media ecosystem to become a groundswell,” he continued.

This phenomenon has somewhat lessened the influence of the audit work carried out by the traditional media, who have scrutinized the smallest of statements of the candidate Trump.

A Gallup poll released this year showed that only 32% of respondents had confidence in the ability of the media to “publish complete, accurate and balanced”.

- Information and lies -

Ignoring the traditional media, many supporters of Trump have used Twitter, Facebook and other social networks as their only source of information, which was often shaped by other supporters of the republican candidate.

Often skewed, the stream also included false information, according to observers.

“Hillary Clinton called the civil war if Trump is elected, “pope Francis surprises everyone and offers his support to Donald Trump” are two examples of titles misleading statement by Joshua Benton, director of Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard university.

“Facebook has built a platform that allows you to spread these lies, in part, because they run very, very well”, he denounced.

“The most obvious way with which Facebook has allowed the victory of Trump has been his inability (or refusal) to address the problem of hoaxes or false information,” wrote the editorialist of the New York Magazine, Max Read.

“The lies and exaggerations have always been a central element of the real political campaigns”, he recognized. “Facebook has simply made it easier to spread”.

Placed in front of its responsibilities, Facebook has ensured, in a first time, that it is currently carrying out a reflection on the topic, in a statement to the website TechCrunch.

But on Thursday, its chief executive officer and founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has counter-attacked, considering it as “pretty crazy” the idea that the false information published on Facebook have been able to influence the outcome of the presidential election.

“If you can believe it,” he added at a conference in California, “then I think you have not embedded the message that the supporters of Trump have tried to send through this election”.


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