Social media, media and Mr. Trump


Two of my friends just unfriended each other on Facebook after arguing over whether people were cheating on Mr. Trump’s vote.

Mr. Trump stated that if the “valid” votes were counted, he would “easily win” in the 2020 US election. Source: Mercury News

What amazes me is that these two friends have known each other for more than a decade and are not susceptible to false news (thanks to Mr. Trump, people are used to the word “fake news”). Now, any news that people feel dissatisfied with is assuming it is “fake news”, regardless of whether it comes from an official media like the New York Times, the Financial Times or the BBC. Many Vietnamese in America now refer to mainstream newspapers as “right margin” and news sites that publish all kinds of thrilling conspiracy theories as “left margin”.

Ten years ago, I started to refrain from arguing with others to defend my point of view after I started a research project on why people disagree and that affects the market. financial like. The interesting thing I found from reading previous studies is that many people will never be able to agree on an issue where their priors were different.

For example, a fan of Trump will never be able to accept the views of a Trump anti-fan, no matter which side makes the arguments. Both empirical studies of psychology and the mathematical model of economics. One of them is the model that I like of economists Daron Acemoglu (author of the book “Why Nations Fail”), Victor Chernozhukov and Muhamet Yildiz. In that model, Daron et al point out that under certain prejudice conditions, the more information that can be given, can only deepen the disagreement of the two sides rather than induce the stance. closer together. This contradicts the assumptions of many previous studies that the more information people see, the more clearly the problem is and the views will come together.

The 2020 US election is a fascinating laboratory for me to observe this. My Facebook friend has two distinct factions, either for or against Mr. Trump. And so, I have the opportunity to see endless wars, “blocks”, “unfriends” each other because of arguing about who is better to be president of America, who will win, the American people. who do you like, and do people cheat the votes to deliberately “play badly” Mr. Trump?

The second other interesting thing I observed is that there is a stark bias in the way many news agencies rely on financial and economic people on Mr. Biden. The financial and economic journalists are supposed to be the people who are supposed to be unbiased because they serve people who place their money on bets based on which president will win. What’s interesting, though, is that these media are all somewhat anti-Trump.

The most obvious is the Economist with the pre-election issue “Why it has to be Biden” (“Why it has to be Biden”). In that article, the paper argued that “Mr. Donald Trump destroyed the values ​​that make America the light of the world”.

The Financial Times seems more balanced in its assessments, but it is the most bold in announcing the states in which Mr. Biden has led and did not hesitate to “keep the lights in front of the car”, to date November 5 quickly determined that Mr. Biden had won 264 electoral votes. This is something I have not seen in many major political and economic events since 2006, when I started to sign up for the Financial Times and the Economist services. There are countless other examples of the newspapers that the elite often read in the UK and America.

In response to this bias, the fan base of Trump called the anti-Trump press “left-wing” and “fake news” (the way Mr. Trump called the press did not share his opinion). And they believe in many conspiracy theories about how the press deliberately misrepresented and defamed Mr. Trump.

There are some of them that make sense, but also things that are dull and absurd. What surprised me from time to time is that there are highly educated, doctoral and master students, who have held millions of dollars in investment, still believe in some very absurd stories. there. It is like having a close friend of mine now a professor at a top Hong Kong university believing that Vietnam is deliberately aggressive with China in the South China Sea.

But it also shows that the newspapers that deliberately portray Trump’s fans are illiterate, flustered, racist … ugly people are also wrong.

I am not a fan of Mr. Trump, even somewhat anti-fan with some of his statements and positions (such as how he downsized his risk from gas change or how he dealt with epidemics. disease COVID-19). But his last term has helped me see many other sides of America, such as the flip side of American democracy, the isolationist trilateral limits of controlling people like Trump, as well. as some of the dual factors of American elites and media. And without Mr. Trump and this election, I wouldn’t have seen so many sides of society through my miniature Facebook.

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