Season 1,

Episode 9: Antisocial Media

November 04, 2016

Listen on iTunes

Over the past few weeks I’ve made great personal sacrifices for this podcast. I’ve subjected myself to abuse, hate speech, and overwhelmingly close-minded rhetoric, all in the name of understanding. In search of the pro-Trump perspective, I went deep undercover into the dark underbelly of American culture – Twitter. I’ll tell you all about what I discovered and why it matters on this episode of An Honest Trumpversation…

When I started this podcast, I said that the goal was to try and take a step back from the flood of typical election coverage, start with the basics, and objectively look at the candidates, issues, and stories to find out what’s really going on—to ask difficult questions, challenge my own assumptions, and to try to see how others, especially those who don’t share my views or beliefs see the world. To “walk a mile” in the other side’s shoes, see things through their lens, in the hopes that doing so would not only lead me to the truth, but help me better understand both those who are different from me, and myself. With that goal in mind, I recently put my sanity and faith in humanity directly in harm’s way and dove down into the deepest, darkest bowels of twitter in search of Honest Trumpversation.

It was absolutely eye-opening, fascinating, disturbing, and overall ridiculous, and I’m really excited to talk to you about it because as we’ve talked about before, this is not a normal election. The candidates themselves are unique to what we’re used to. It’s the first female major-party candidate ever, who has lived the vast majority of her adult life in the public political eye, against a polarizing business tycoon who is the embodiment of capitalism and has leveraged his success and bravado into a global brand and a political movement.

But this election is also unique in the way we, as a country, view it. Sure we still have the traditional media, network news outlets, newspapers, etc. But social media is reshaping many aspects of our lives and this election is no exception. Some of those ways we see in our Twitter and Facebook feeds every day, but some others are less obvious. Taking a look at all these influences, and a few others, may just make us smarter, saner, and even more tolerant of the “other side.”

Here are a few of the key sources referenced in this episode:

Blue Feed, Red Feed (Washington Post)

Hyperpartisan Facebook Pages Are Publishing False and Misleading Information at an Alarming Rate (Buzzfeed)

How Social Media Creates Angry, Poorly Informed Partisans (Vox)

Third-Party Voters Are “Trading Votes” With Clinton Voters to Defeat Trump (Vox)

The Illusion of Truth (PsyBlog)

Donald Trump: The Subliminal Marketing Behind the Campaign (New Style)

Meme Warfare: How The Power of Mass Replication Has Poisoned the US Election (The Guardian)

How Macedonia Became a Global Hub for Pro-Trump Misinformation (Buzzfeed)

The Political Environment on Social Media (Pew Research Center)

The Data Behind Trump’s Twitter Takeover (Politico)

The Evolving Role of Media In Elections (International Foundation for Electoral Systems)


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