DR.TSUBOKURA'S RADIATION LECTURE VOL.174

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura M.D., PhD.

Editor: Yudai Kaneda


347  Some online information is biased

2 October 2021

Various media sources have been used to disseminate information about the nuclear accident and radiation. Each media format, such as television, newspapers, magazines, online publications, and social networking sites, has advantages and disadvantages in terms of information dissemination. It is important to know the characteristics of these media to make sure you are able to interpret the information being disseminated and move forward.


 Last week, we introduced you to influencers; that is, “people of influence” (celebrities). It turns out that much of the information related to radiation that we were actually exposed to was transmitted by a very limited number of influencers. This is where the phenomenon of voices identical to one’s own being amplified and different voices being drowned out in a closed space (echo chamber) and the phenomenon of unwittingly blocking out information that one does not want to see (filter bubble) occur. As a result, when you use the Internet to search for information, you may be exposed to many of the same types of biased information that you have seen in the past.


 The Internet is an infinitely large world, and any amount of information, regardless of its importance, can be transmitted and hoarded. The recipient of information had better understand its characteristics.



348 Net opinion, extremely radicalized

9 October 2021

Various media sources have been used to disseminate information about the nuclear accident and radiation. Each media format, such as television, newspapers, magazines, online publications, and social networking sites, has advantages and disadvantages in terms of information dissemination. It is important to know the characteristics of these media sources to make sure you are able to interpret the information being disseminated and move forward.


As we have shown, the Internet has allowed people to find others who share the same thoughts about a particular matter or who approve or disapprove of a particular person easily, quickly, and on a large scale, through bulletin boards and articles. Therefore, the Internet has made it easy to connect people who share the same ideas with each other. As a result, being either for or against a certain issue can rapidly become the majority opinion, which can become radicalized (biased toward the extreme) easily, which is called a cybercascade, with “cyber” referring to the Internet and “cascade” referring to a waterfall flowing down in a staircase-like pattern. This refers to how people are swept away by one opinion on the Internet, which eventually becomes a large stream.

 

The Japanese version of the manuscript was originally published in Fukushima Minyu, a local newspaper in Fukushima prefecture, Japan, on 2 and 9 October 2021 were reproduced for MRIC Global under the author's permission.


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