Content Cycle

Some people might complain that the Content Cycle is corrosive and demeaning — that it’s cynical and even fraudulent to strip minor joking tweets of any context and to present them to audiences for the sole intent of generating outsized emotional reactions. But you can begin to see from this description how vital the cycle is to our natural media environment. It sustains not just major cable hosts like Carlson, but also HuffPost bloggers; not just aggregation-happy media conglomerates like Verizon Media Group, but also vast social networks like Twitter. People like to discuss the ill effects of social media on misinformation, but the Content Cycle demonstrates the deep, almost biological connection between the megaplatforms of the internet and legacy media like television, in a complex ecosystem of aggregation, outrage, performance, and attention.1