News-consuming and the Gaza war

A few years ago researchers demonstrated that monkeys and humans ‘share a specific perceptual mechanism, configural perception, for discriminating among the numerous faces they encounter daily’. The main message is that  the evolution of the ‘critical human social skill of facial recognition’ enables us to form relationships and interact appropriately with others [1]. Provided that these others think alike.


A recent article investigating the trends in social media communication (the specific subject is the recent war in Gaza, Israel vs. Hamas, but the findings are more general) seems to underpin the old wisdom of journalism: people read what they are otherwise interested in. Recalling the author’s words: social networks are perfectly designed to reinforce our existing beliefs. It is the media – not simply the traditional version, but everything which is internet-based, so to say, the online society itself, illustrated by the monkey above – which ‘creates’ reality (for itself, for themselves).  It is not the message, which is novel, but the way of proofing. The spectacular results can be seen here:

Gilad Notan (2014): Israel, Gaza, War & Data. Social Networks and the Art of Personalizing Data.

View story at

The gap between truth and reality is larger and larger, the former playing less and less significant role in any game. It seems so.

Sources and further reading: [1] ‘The science of faces’ blog post on Skepacabra, July 12, 2009 (the monkey graph is copy-pasted from this blog).


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