Trust Without Teachers

With the month of May coming faster than any of us would care to admit, so much of our time gets consumed with all things associated with the closing out of another school year. There are certain rituals that are associated with this time of year like expressing our gratitude for those teachers that have meant so much to our kids and because of that to us. The article below appeared in Comment Magazine in February and is by Chad Wellmon. After we catch our collective breaths from reading this article, we all need to deepen your appreciation for the important role teachers have especially since, "Social media have become the new custodians of knowledge."  

This article is a little longer than most of our blogs, but so worth your time. There are implications well beyond teachers for all of us. Going forward we should consider where we are placing our trust. 


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TRUST WITHOUT TEACHERS

Social media have become the new custodians of knowledge. This matters.


(by Chad Wellmon, February 23rd, 2017)


In her first post-election public appearance, Hillary Clinton decried an "epidemic of fake news." Salacious stories and fraudulent claims about politicians and their supporters had spread unfiltered and unconstrained through social media. With some concocted content from Macedonian teenagers and young American college graduates, Facebook, suggested some, threw the election to Trump. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chairman and co-founder, denied that his company had any responsibility. "More than 99 percent of what people see" on Facebook, he said shortly after the election, "is authentic." It was a "pretty crazy idea" to suggest that Facebook could affect an election. Trust us, counselled Zuckerberg, we only give you facts and friends.

Zuckerberg's refusal to acknowledge Facebook's possible role in the US election is both disingenuous—Facebook has conducted experiments on the effects particular kinds of posts have on people's voting decision—and irresponsible. The social media behemoth is now the primary news medium in the United States. Zuckerberg casts his company as a neutral medium that simply connects friends, shares information, and facilitates democracy. But Facebook is now a social institution that people rely on and, however implicitly, trust.

 

Thanks to Giammarco Boscaro for the photo on Unsplash

Crosland Stuart