The take-away from the PRC trolling of Australia on Twitter

The takeaway is this:  “Nations that can’t effectively tell their own story risk having it told by another country” – that’s a conclusion by Jed Willard, global engagement director at Harvard’s FDR Foundation.

Australia’s story is not about one specific unfavourable news item related to alleged war crimes but about the much bigger, recurring themes of the rule of law, sovereignty, and trade fairness. These are the focal points of Australia’s story in regard to the Chinese Communist Party.

More detail in my story.

A little more background on the trolling, here.

‘Rank democracy’ and a democratic future after November 2020

For democracy to survive the Trump era, it must be able to communicate past disruptive language and ideas.

Senator Mike Lee’s comments about ‘rank democracy’ underscore how vulnerable our shared discussed has become.

As we near the US Election Day, there is a lot to consider about the future of democracy and the notions of freedom that have gotten us to this point.

Jardin: Social media ‘created by jerks and exploited by our enemies’

A succinct quote from tech-culture figure Xeni Jardin on the inherent problem that social media presents for a functional democracy,

( To understand her use of the word “jerk”, click on the podcast link below.)

“The fact so much of our discourse happens on Twitter and Facebook is responsible for why so much of our discourse is so twisted…”

“I don’t want to be one of those GenX jerks who quotes Marshall McLuhan all over the place, but the ‘medium is the message’ and right now the medium are these social media apps that were created by jerks and they’re being exploited by our enemies.”

“How can anything good come from that?”

Heard here.

Australian government report calling for algorithm regulator

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has prepared a wide-ranging preliminary report on the impact of digital platforms such as Google and Facebook on the marketplace and the news industry. It contains a preliminary recommendation that the government form an algorithm regulator, that essentially tracks the changes and effects on the companies’ algorithms without revealing their technical details.

The recommendation in the summary of the report, published December 10, is here:

The full report is here.