CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Donald J. Trump’s supporters were probably heartened in September, when, according to an article shared nearly a million times on Facebook, the candidate received an endorsement from Pope Francis. Their opinions on Hillary Clinton may have soured even further after reading a Denver Guardian article that also spread widely on Facebook, which reported days before the election that an F.B.I. agent suspected of involvement in leaking Mrs. Clinton’s emails was found dead in an apparent murder-suicide.
Congratulations, then, to 18 Feet & Rising, the first UK ad agency to be certified as a B Corporation.
What’s noteworthy is the shop and its shareholders have agreed to put positive social impact on an equal footing with pursuit of profit. It is not the only agency aiming to “do good”, but it is rare for one to be prepared to sacrifice money for principles.
On page 19, the agency’s chief executive, Jonathan Trimble, explains how he is trying to resolve the inherent tension between being both a good corporate citizen and a tool of a capitalist society that relies on consumers buying more. He believes the answer is “less, better advertising”. I agree.
The last year has turned the United States into a country of information addicts who compulsively check the television, the smartphone and the good old-fashioned newspaper with a burning question: What fresh twist could our national election drama and its executive producer, Donald J. Trump, possibly have in store for us now?
“This is the news of the millennium!” said the story on WorldPoliticus.com. Citing unnamed FBI sources, it claimed Hillary Clinton will be indicted in 2017 for crimes related to her email scandal.
“Your Prayers Have Been Answered,” declared the headline.
For Trump supporters, that certainly seemed to be the case. They helped the baseless story generate over 140,000 shares, reactions, and comments on Facebook.
President-elect Donald Trump is a perfect example of a man who is the master of his media — thriving in the restless, texting, tweeting, snapchatting world we now live in. Americans are not far behind. While social critics once predicted that mass media would disrupt and undermine the nation, a surprising new survey reveals that the public is just as enamored of information as their Mr. Trump. Bring it on.
Election surprises are only surprises when their causes are poorly understood. Three recent nationwide votes in the USA and UK have produced three dramatic surprises – Trump’s victory, Brexit, and the Conservative party’s 2015 Commons majority.
It is my view that observers have failed to predict each in large part because they have failed to understand the importance of message discipline. As a professional election observer, I am convinced that in the age of mass information, use of message discipline is one of the defining characteristics separating winners from losers.
Extreme vetting will require better, smarter data, according to Donna Roy, executive director of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Information Sharing and Services Office (IS2O).
President-elect Donald Trump ran his campaign on the commitment to remove illegal Mexican residents and temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country. Extreme vetting policies would logically accompany these stringent immigration goals.
EU politicians backing CETA are publicly fretting the way in which those opposing CETA disregard the ‘facts and evidence’ on the benefits of the landmark trade agreement between the EU and Canada.
After signing the agreement, President of the European Council Donald Tusk, said “post-factual reality and post-truth politics pose a great challenge on both sides of the Atlantic”. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was ‘vexed’ over accusations that CETA would lower labour standards, amongst other issues.
Over the past generation there seems to have been a decline in the number of high-quality friendships.
In 1985, most Americans told pollsters that they had about three confidants, people with whom they could share everything. Today, the majority of people say they have about two. In 1985, 10 percent of Americans said they had no one to fully confide in, but by the start of this century 25 percent of Americans said that.
Demagogues or rabble rousers have always had a leg up in the political arena. If you can whip up a frenzy of prejudice and ignorance and raise the specter of looming threats or conspiratorial “elites”, while not being particularly beholden to facts, you’ll get a big chunk of the population on your side. And in an age where our daily lives are overwhelmed by an incessant glut of information, demagogues have more power than ever. Amazing accessibility of most information has devalued facts, blurring lines between experts and demagogues. Getting away with untruths may be easier than ever.