Daniel Gayo-Avello (Oviedo): Social Media and Authoritarianism. Who’s responsible when extremists get a platform? Social media companies aren’t just an open marketplace for ideas — they’re also amplifying the most dangerous ones. On Twitter, a battle among political bots: Some robot accounts protest; others expose racists; and at least one — aimed at people looking for a fight — keeps them busy talking to a brick wall. In defense of the Twitter essay: Some find it obnoxious, but threading tweets is a unique writing form that creates vibrant, democratic conversations. Social media is killing discourse because it’s too much like TV: We need more text and fewer videos and memes in the age of Trump.

What’s Facebook going to do after fake news? It’s time to decide: What is Facebook’s mission? A challenge to Facebook’s reach and power is long overdue. Leighton Andrews on why Europe should regulate Facebook and Google. Google is not “just” a platform — it frames, shapes and distorts how we see the world. Google “must review its search rankings because of rightwing manipulation”: Hate sites are dominating and controlling searches on Muslims, Jews, Hitler and women and search engine is failing to tackle problem. Carole Cadwalladr on Google, democracy and the truth about Internet search.


From PostEverything, Daniel Drezner on Donald Trump’s three types of norm violations; and how could Donald Trump answer questions about his money? By giving it all away. Donald Trump's sons behind nonprofit selling access to president-elect. Newt Gingrich: Trump should illegally hire his relatives, profit from inside dealing, and then pardon them. The evidence to impeach Donald Trump may already be here (and more). Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci: Don't take Trump literally, “take him symbolically”. Cucks, identity politics, and why just talking about Trump makes him seem normal. Trump could destroy public discourse and lead to someone worse, explains Roger Berkowitz, a scholar on Hannah Arendt. How Hannah Arendt’s classic work on totalitarianism illuminates today’s America. Julian Friedland on the banality of American evil.

Josh Marshall on US Ambassador to Israel nominee David Friedman: I did not realize you could leverage the Holocaust and the 6 million Jewish victims as a cudgel to defend a man caught on tape bragging about “grabbing” women by their “pussies” and coercing sex. Here's another Trump cabinet pick with close financial ties to Russians: Wilbur Ross joined with a Russian oligarch and a former KGB official to run a troubled bank in Cyprus. Donald Trump turns to always-wrong pseudo-economist Lawrence Kudlow. Outsiders selected by Trump aim to unnerve Washington. Democrats need to oppose Trump’s cabinet picks en masse: If Democrats still believe that Trump is a threat to democracy, then they should act accordingly.

The frightening common ground between Trump adviser Steve Bannon and white nationalism’s favorite philosopher, Aleksandr Dugin. Donald Trump is a uniquely American populist: He's in a different category from far-Right European leaders like Marine Le Pen. Tracking Trump’s national-security conflicts of interest: Will the next president’s foreign policy serve America’s interests or his own? The only enemies Donald Trump can see are his fellow Americans: How can he defend the country? People who fear Trump aren’t weak — they’re being reasonable. Lessons for fighting a demagogue, from the people who survived a plague: How the AIDS movement has given birth to the Trump resistance. The most useful guide to resisting Donald Trump: It’s the Tea Party playbook, minus the nooses.

The true story of how Teen Vogue got mad, got woke, and began terrifying men like Donald Trump. Comedians in the age of Trump: Forget your stupid toupee jokes. Pop culture in a post-truth America: Emily Harnett on the political implications of TV’s new self-consciousness.


Ben Saul (Sydney): Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and International Humanitarian Law. How perpetual ignorance shapes the never-ending war on terror: Ali Gharib reviews Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War by Mark Danner. Does killing terrorist leaders make any difference? Scholars are doubtful. Aziz Z. Huq (Chicago): The Uses of Religious Identity, Practice, and Dogma in “Soft” and “Hard” Counterterrorism. The problem with the effort to de-radicalize jihadis: Islamic extremism is a phenomenon that that may lie beyond the reach of the state. Refashioning patriotism: Maria Christoforou on selling fear as part of the war on terror. How discrimination against Muslims at airports actually hurts the fight against terrorism.

From CJR, how should journalism cover terrorism?; and Rafia Zakaria on how media coverage of terrorism endorses a legal double standard.


From the Brookings Institution, Norman Eisen, Richard Painter, and Laurence H. Tribe on the Emoluments Clause: Its text, meaning, and application to Donald J. Trump. Democrats are paving the way to impeach Donald Trump. Charles Schumer is leading Democrats to their doom, continued. John Cassidy on nine ways to oppose Donald Trump. Mark Lilla criticized the Clinton campaign for being fixated on diversity — and the critics pounced. What is the Left without identity politics? Walter Benn Michaels, Charles W. Mills, Linda Hirshman and Carla Murphy consider the question dividing the Democratic Party. Democrats need to get a grip if they want to win next time.


Paul J. Larkin (Heritage): A Proposal to Restructure the Clemency Process: The Vice President as Head of a White House Clemency Office. Austria’s far Right signs a cooperation pact with Putin’s party: Austria’s Freedom Party leader also reported, on Facebook, that he had recently met with President-elect Donald J. Trump’s pick for national security adviser. Locked on the psych ward: Lock them in, bill their insurer, kick them out — how scores of employees and patients say America’s largest psychiatric chain turns patients into profits. Of Marx and media: The current paroxysms in trade media were foretold by Karl Marx 150 years ago. Original sin: Paul Finkelman on the Electoral College as a pro-slavery tool. “On and around November 8, 2016, American history changed”: Rhian Sasseen on HillaryLooks, and the surreal world of conservative Instagram.


Govand Khalid Azeez (Macquarie): Beyond Edward Said: An Outlook on Postcolonialism and Middle Eastern Studies. Mark Griffiths (Oulu): From Heterogeneous Worlds: Western Privilege, Class and Positionality in the South. Julian Go (BU): Social Theory beyond Empire. Fuck you Zizek: Hamid Dabashi draws a sharp line in the sand between European and post-colonial philosophers in this provocative introduction to Can Non-Europeans Think? Steve Paulson interviews Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak on her friendship with Derrida and the tragic family story that sparked her interest in the subaltern, the responsibility of intellectuals and the crisis in the humanities.


The long and brutal history of fake news: Bogus news has been around a lot longer than real news — and it’s left a lot of destruction behind. The NRA was waging war on facts way before the “fake news” boom. David Uberti on the real history of fake news. Sarah Kendzior on the fake war on fake news. The only antidote to the poison of fake news. Fact-checking 2016: Trump dominates annual review of political falsehoods. Trump’s own “truther” act is frightening. The problem of the lazy brain: The first step in confronting the “post-truth” era is recognizing that we are all susceptible to lapses in critical thinking and motivated reasoning. Francis Fukuyama on the emergence of a post-fact world.


Nikolai Chernyshevsky and the most politically dangerous book you’ve never heard of: Adam Weiner on how one obscure Russian novel, What Is to Be Done? Some Stories about the New People, launched two of the 20th century’s most destructive ideas. How Ayn Rand’s theories destroyed “Never Trump” conservatism. “This year we will see the Asshole Singularity, when all assholes combine their powers into one new social matrix”. The scapegoating machine: Peter Thiel’s philosophical mentor Rene Girard explains Trump, Gawker, and social media. Rightwingers are scapegoating again: How should this marriage of rightwing politics with racial, religious, and nativist passions be explained? Stereotypes are poisoning American politics: Dumb generalizations about ill-defined groups aren't just false, they're dangerous. Brothers in white resentment: What gave us Donald Trump is what gave us Dylann Roof.

Trump spokesman says corruption is legal if you do it in the open: As long as you are not sneaky, everything is fine. Not just gaslighting: Trump using abuser playbook to manipulate the country. Trump’s daily bankruptcy and the Ambassador to Israel: Trump’s contempt for experience is parallel to his contempt for science, for fact, for restraint, for consideration, for decency. Trump private security force “playing with fire”: The president-elect continues to employ a battalion of retired cops and FBI agents to protect him and clamp down on protesters. Is Donald Trump a threat to democracy? Paul Krugman on how republics end: No, our institutions won’t save us.

It’s time we start calling the Republican Party what it is: A domestic terrorist organization.


Donatella Barbieri (Arts) and Sofia Pantouvaki (Aalto): Towards a Philosophy of Costume. Poland is "on road to autocracy", says constitutional court president (and more). Lech Walesa: Throw Poland out of the EU. Swedish towns told to "make preparations regarding the threat of war and conflict" with Russia. Leak reveals Rex Tillerson was director of Bahamas-based US-Russian oil firm. From Australian Humanities Review, how nice is too nice? Emmett Stinson on Australian book reviews and the "compliment sandwich": Gillian Dooley on the role of ethics in book reviewing; and Patrick Allington on a defence of tempered praise and tempered criticism in book reviewing. Thomas Schelling has died — his ideas shaped the Cold War and the world. To understand Pizzagate, it helps to understand cults.


When does democracy fail? When voters don't get what they asked for. Is there a crisis of democracy? Jeffrey C. Isaac on the rise of Trump-like figures in democracies. "Putin's Rasputin" has lauded Donald Trump as a "sensation": Is Aleksandr Dugin "Putin's brain", or just a fringe crank? Top 10 signs that a U.S. president is a Russian agent: How many more obvious giveaways do we need to see? It's time to take Trump's pro-Russian foreign policy seriously (and literally). Donald Trump doesn't know it yet, but Vladimir Putin is going to dump him.

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the agency charged with ensuring that voting machines meet security standards, was itself penetrated by a hacker after the November elections. How a Putin fan overseas pushed pro-Trump propaganda to Americans. Useful idiots galore: Russia got lots of help in the United States hacking the election. How right-wing media helped Trump voters warm up to Vladimir Putin. How conservatives are talking about Russia's alleged meddling in the U.S. election. Trump supporters, GOP elites, a substantial portion of the US electorate simply didn't care about what Russia was doing because they believed it hurt Hillary Clinton.

Will Obama order American hackers to dox Putin? Cyberwar is so new that it's hard to know what a proportional response looks like. Here's how Obama can hit back at Putin over hacking.

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