US Election is a battle between social media and mainstream media

As the U.S. presidential election reaches a critical phase, more than half of Americans are saying that the campaign is a very significant source of stress. The election related stress also seems to affect various generations of Americans differently, including those who consume news via social media versus those who use traditional mainstream media. The US Election is a battle between social media and mainstream media.

The American Psychological Association (APA) has made available specific data related to stress levels associated with the presidential election. According to the APA, social media appears to affect Americans’ stress levels when it comes to the election and related topics. More than one in four adults (38 percent) say that political and cultural discussions on social media cause them stress. Additionally, adults who use social media are more likely than adults who do not use social media to say the election is a very or somewhat significant source of stress (54 percent vs. 45 percent, respectively).

With mainstream media focusing on the Donald Trump “groping allegations” and social media focusing on the Wikileaks “Crooked Hillary” coverage, significant cognitive bias is being amplified and accelerated.

US Election is a battle between social media and mainstream media

Google Trends indicate that U.S. and worldwide Google searches for “Wikileaks and Clinton”  far exceed those for “Trump Sexual Allegations”.

US Election is a battle between social media and mainstream media

But mainstream media continues to focus on the Trump allegations and has very little coverage of the Clinton Wikileaks disclosures.

US Election is a battle between social media and mainstream media.

Trump and Clinton are both suffering from huge reputational damage that may well poison the eventual winners presidency. US electors are also suffering from cognitive dissonance and stress as a result of the schizophrenic news coverage.

While around half of adults, regardless of generation, report that the election is a very significant source of stress, youngest and oldest generations appear more likely to be affected, with 56 percent of Millennials (ages 19 to 37) and 59 percent of Matures (ages 71+) saying the election is a very significant source of stress. This is significantly more than the 45 percent of Gen Xers (ages 38 to 51), and directionally more so than the 50 percent of Boomers (ages 52 to 70).

It is likely that the battle between social media and mainstream media will get even more brutal in the weeks leading up to the election on November 8th. On the morning of November 9th, Americans may wake up divided and traumatised realising that no one has won.

Do you make decisions based on opinions or facts?

Do you make decisions based on opinions or facts?  In this big data world, do you make decisions based on opinions or facts? How do you find the facts you need? Reliable and validated intelligence is crucial.

To help solve this problem, Andy Black Associates and Reuser Information Services have partnered to create training courses in Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) and Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT).

The training courses are in high demand and for good reason. Data volumes are exploding. Every day organisations and individuals are creating, sharing and accessing data. Globally, more people are connected via smartphones and social networks than ever before. The Internet of Things is enabling machine to machine communication. More and more data is openly available.

do you make decisions based on opinions or facts

Most people use Google for their research and only look at the first page of results. These are skewed by factors including SEO, astroturfing and the “right to be forgotten”. Besides, Google only indexes 20% of the web, so will produce only limited results. What about the Deep Web and Dark Web?

Do you make decisions based on opinions or facts?

By 2020 there will be 50 billion connected devices globally and 44 trillion gigabytes of data. Machine learning on its own can’t address this challenge; you need to empower human intelligence. This has led to an increasing interest in both the discipline and the art of open source intelligence collection.

The OSINT and SOCMINT training courses are ideally suited for policy officers, analysts, researchers, librarians, information professionals, scientific researchers, journalists, investigative journalists, writers, historians, cybersecurity professionals, financial fraud and financial crime researchers, Insurance and risc researchers.

The tutor for the OSINT courses is Arno Reuser. He is a professional librarian and information scientist with more than 30 years of experience in information handling and processing. He was the founder of the Open Source Intelligence Bureau for the Dutch Defense Intelligence and Security Service (DISS) and currently holds the position of Senior Policy Advisor for OSINT and Cyber at the Dutch Ministry of Defence.

Arno’s expertise is to design and use systems that can translate information requirements into actionable intelligence. Or, in other words, find pinpoint answers to questions, and to design and run training courses about this for govt and private sector clients.

You can find out more and register for the OSINT and SOCMINT training courses at: https://www.andyblackassociates.co.uk/training-courses/