#HASHTAG

When stories are hallmarked by a single person or word, their messages become perverted and our interpretations of what is important is flawed.

But, Twitter can also be the epicenter of valuable and effective social change — whether through positive or negative origins. In the now-infamous Babenet article, Aziz Ansari’s questionable exchanges with an unnamed woman birthed great controversy between what is and is not sexual assault. Some claimed the actor should be treated with the swift justice Kevin Spacey and Matt Lauer saw. Others, in a New York Times op-ed, felt Ansari was “guilty, of not being a mind reader”. There was so much conflict because we as a society have not decided on what words mean and what the truth is.

We as a society evolve significantly when we can debate the implications of our news, not its validity.

Polarization of news is a major problem not only because it distorts facts, but because it inaccurately asserts that factual events can have an ideological bias. They cannot. Polarizing and weaponizing news can marginalize both the content of stories and the messages they carry and, on Twitter, there are voices that rise from the confusion to take hold of cultural narratives. Three major parties can be blamed for marginalization through perpetuating the power of social storytellers: corporations, trolls and ourselves.

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OneWorld Magazine-SLU

OneWorld Magazine-SLU

We are already one, but we imagine that we are not. We are a student-run magazine that seeks to rediscover this.