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huh wrote

You can find the report mentioned in the article here. This is what's in the report about social media.

It is well known that dire warnings can lead to disconnect of the audience if it is not accompanied by a feasible perspective for action. Social media provides and changes our perception of the world, by promoting a sense of crisis and unfairness, but also facilitating social self-organization in novel ways, providing a powerful drive for social change.

On the worrying side, isolationism stimulated by social-media-boosted discontent may hamper global cooperation needed to curb global warming, biodiversity loss, wealth concentration, and other trends. On the other hand, social media has powered movements such as school strikes, extinction rebellion, voluntary simplicity, bartering, flight-shame, the eat-local movement and veganism to promote a steadily rising global awareness of pressing issues, that may ultimately shift social norms (Nyborg et al. 2016, Barrett et al. 2020), trigger reforms towards sustainability (Otto et al. 2020) and perhaps also wealth equalization at all institutional levels (Scheffer et al. 2017).

The combination of discontent and self-organization promotes rebellion against the old way of doing things, as in street protests, populist votes, radicalization and terrorism, but also catalyses the search for alternative ways, as in bartering and sharing platforms, or voluntary simplicity and other lifestyle movements (Carpenter et al. 2019).

The rise of social media and technologies such as bots and profiling has been explosive, and the mere rate of change has made it difficult for society to keep pace. Crowd-sourced fact checking may be combined with computer assisted analyses and judgements from professionals (Hassan et al. 2009), and labelling quality of media sources ranging from internet fora to newspapers and television stations may alert users to the risk of disinformation and heavy political bias (Pennycook and Rand 2019). With time, such approaches together with legislation, best-practice agreements, and individual skills of judging the quality of sources may catch up to control some of the negative side-effects.

The emerging picture is that social media have become a global catalyst for social change by facilitating shifts on scales ranging from individual attitudes to broad social norms and institutions. It remains unclear, however, whether this new ‘invisible hand’ will move the world on more sustainable and just pathways. Can the global, fast moving capacity for information sharing and knowledge generation through social media help lead us towards a just world where future generations thrive within the limits of our planet’s capacity (Scheffer 2020)?

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