Twit­ter ‘made us dumb’

The Guardian - - INTERNATIONAL - Matthew Weaver

Don­ald Trump’s pres­i­dency is a symp­tom of a me­dia en­vi­ron­ment based on short at­ten­tion spans that is mak­ing the world “dum­ber”, one of the founders of Twit­ter has said.

Evan Wil­liams said Trump’s elec­tion high­lighted a wider is­sue about how so­cial me­dia plat­forms were help­ing to “dumb the en­tire world down” and un­der­min­ing our sense of truth.

Wil­liams was asked on the To­day pro­gramme if Trump’s use of Twit­ter had given him pause for thought. He said: “The much big­ger is­sue is … the qual­ity of the in­for­ma­tion we con­sume that is re­in­forc­ing danger­ous be­liefs and iso­lat­ing peo­ple and lim­it­ing peo­ple’s open-mind­ed­ness and re­spect for truth.” Wil­liams, who has apol­o­gised for Twit­ter’s role in Trump’s elec­tion, added: “There is a me­dia ecosys­tem that is sup­ported and thrives on at­ten­tion, pe­riod. And that is what’s mak­ing us dum­ber and not smarter, and Don­ald Trump is a symp­tom of that.”

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