Being manipulated on social media

A series from Smarter Every Day on how people, you included perhaps, are being manipulated on social media.

Manipulating the YouTube Algorithm – (Part 1/3)

Twitter Platform Manipulation – (Part 2/3)

People are Manipulating You on Facebook – (Part 3-3)

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Market manipulation and madness

A comment on market manipulation at Kiwiblog by ‘wikiriwhis business’:

This is the year to get into the NZ market. It’s being manipulated for the key govt and there’s proofit to be made. Also, the stratedgy is to encourage investment and mop up extra liquidity in consumers pockets the market missed in 08. The market will definitely crash before the next US election. The dollar will be taken over by the yuan. Neo Nazi’s are thriving in the crashed economy of Greece and they will build momentum across Europe. We are on teh brink of 1930′s Germany all over again.

Srylands responds:

I like simple explanations. They are generally the right ones, especially when it comes to markets, the effects of incentives, and individual welfare.

Whereas folk like you, Wiki, make the most mad statements – “the stock market is being manipulated (by some evil person or persons) to benefit the government” – and expect to be taken seriously.

A common theme at the Standard – in fact the dominant theme of the whole blog – is that evil forces (banks, landlords, economists, speculators, money market traders, the “rich”) are all conspiring to manipulate markets and steal money from Jo Bloggs. The Government should do something about this. In fact that should be the role of government – to adopt a myriad of interventions to make all these nasty people give the money back, and drive them out of existence.

If only the Government would make the rich pay their tax. If only the Government would give is a living wage. If only the Government would ban speculators. If only the Government would regulate rents.

Of course all this is like Alice’s world – where everything is not what one believes. So, for example, the rich DO pay most of the tax, and markets actually DO make everyone better off.

The bad news is that a sizeable slice of the electorate believes all this moon bat madness. The good news is that more people just don’t buy it. So what you are seeing at The Standard is a bunch of people becoming more and more frustrated that there is no traction. The stories are getting weirder, and the comments are getting more bitter. Expect more of that.

New Zealand actually needs a viable alternative government in waiting. It is a good and necessary thing. What that will require is a viable, evidence based, policy theme around wealth CREATION. The voters might happily buy a bit more redistribution but only if it is accompanied by wealth creation. So to take the latest example: solar panels WON’T do that. Because (back to my opening comment – “simple is good”) the proposal is to promote expensive electricity generation over existing cheaper generation. Hence this will make New Zealand POORER. End of story. Stop right there.