Social media controls the world


I feel like your cacodemon avatar should have its teeth removed too. Where is the truth in avatar-advertising, man? Now it’s like all those teeth are there just taunting us.


In that case your avatar is… uh… just fine. :)


Thanks, Rich. Good thing that isn’t common knowledge.

You are aware he won that election, right?

Feel free to descend into hysteria about wanting a repeat of Watergate, etc.

Otherwise it appears to be the usual end of the world predictions typical of this particular echo chamber.

lol, you guys consume your news from a one-dimensional feed as well. It’s only that that you don’t like the feed of your political opponents.

Which is fair enough, but to think of them being trapped in the Matrix is a wee bit hypocritical.


Oh. You’re back. How nice. I wasn’t sure if you knew about the term you were using so freely. I thought you were much younger. No hysteria here, bubba. You’re right about the predictions. There are a lot around here. I, personally, don’t agree with them. But everyone is allowed to posit their own theory, no? As far as consuming news and one dimension, yadda, bullshit.

No. Not here.

The crew here are pretty intelligent. Much more than I. I admit it.

Just checking. You think that Fox news and the like are something to like or dislike? As opposed to totally full of propaganda and bullshit? Please show your work here.

And finally, who is trapped in the matrix? You or I?


I’m not talking about conservative vs. liberal. I’m talking about good people who grew up in a world where they believed the news because it was true more often than not. Now they are inclined to believe everything that passes by on their Facebook feed. My parents are those people; liberals. Many friends are those people; well-educated well-meaning people who would be mortified if they realized the extent to which the data pushed at them is curated to reinforce their beliefs. I was one of those people and now try not to be. I deleted Facebook (and what a relief that was) and stay away from Twitter these days.

My point was not that one echo chamber is right and one is wrong. I don’t think there is a “silent majority.” People take sides now more than ever, in large part thanks to services like Facebook. That was all good and fun until governments and intel services realized how social media platforms could be weaponized in disinformation campaigns. That was the tipping point that frightens me. Be you liberal or conservative, you should be very afraid of a society that uses these platforms as primary sources of information.


Well hopefully all the publicity the Russian interference stuff is getting will cause people to think a bit harder about believing every meme or political ad they see online.

The normals only hit the web en masse in the last 5 years, really, driven by “every human carries a smartphone 24/7 and has a Facebook account.” I doubt they had any time to build up their digital immune systems like we have.


Social Media does not control the world, it reflects it. The people who buy into fake news do so because it confirms their preconceived ideas, you can’t blame Social Media just like you can’t mobile phones or pc’s.


How is it reflective of the world when the algorithms that produce the feeds are highly tuned to stimulate our pleasure responses? Or when countless accounts are fake and used to boost other seemingly real accounts; manipulated algorithms?

Facebook no longer has full control over itself. Twitter doesn’t either.

Also interesting:


Social media is like advertising in that it both shapes and reflects its context. The degree of either tends to shift over time, and with different demographics. For me, a key change is speed. When information had a delay, and even “live” stuff wasn’t really real-time (and was rare to boot), we had a built-in sort of patience, as we knew we had to wait for reports to come in. In turn, that gave both us and the reporting organizations time to process, verify, research, and what not. There was a reason we generally trusted the network news, the AP, the NYT and WaPo; they did pretty solid jobs.

Fast forward to the world of instant gratification, 24/7 news cycles (thanks, CNN!), and the insatiable Internet, which needs stuff in unfathomable quantities. Because we can get information instantly, we demand it instantly. But instant does not leave time for reflection, verification, research, or analysis. It simply dumps raw feeds, trolls and all, on each and every one of us. Now, if we prepared for this, and our daily life was centered on becoming a real-time news filter, this might work, but that’s not how we operate. In some ways, we are still viewing the “news” we get in the same way we viewed Walter Cronkite’s reporting. We trust it because it’s news, not really understanding that it isn’t news, not really, it’s just stuff.


Just reflecting here, is it really all social media, or can we throw some blame on advertising itself. It’s been both the blessing and curse of so much as we have transitioned into this information age. It’s one of the drivers behind personal data. It’s one of the boons and failures behind the media we consume. It’s part of what hold us hostage toward better information at times. Not to mention when advertising is exploited toward the purpose of pushing another viewpoint, or even malicious actions on the platform it is received on.

As we have opened our eyes toward the great information and social experience online, we’ve opened our eyes to anything advertisers want to push on us as well. Hand in hand, we’re rapidly going down this path, where blame on reaching a horrible destination can’t just be put on one party.

To point this out, what if Facebook didn’t advertise. What if it charged every user for the experience. Would we put up with half the bullshit we get from the platform if so? As it stands, we have no say, no recourse, no method of moving the needle in ANY direction, much less in a better direction. Governments can somewhat change the course of social media. We, as users, cannot. That does not bode well to this problem being solved, at all.


Don’t you find the leading questions a bit tiresome, Rich?

It’s ok - I got this.

Do you like Fox news?

Do black lives matter?

Have you ever engaged in carnal knowledge with a farm animal?

No, Yes, Y… Nooooo?

Clay’s in the matrix, or outside the matrix looking in, but I guess you stopped reading his posts!


It’s the same as its ever been except the news cycle has reduced to about a nanosecond.

Which is pretty bad for a lot of reasons, but we all know whats happened to print media…

Nothing is really new, and yellow journalism is a relevant bit of history.

The issue I have with all this fake news bollocks, is it assumes a country full of imbeciles.

I agree with Zeth, there has to be a bias to appeal to first, you can’t manufacture it out of thin air.

It’s pretty obvious really - sort of fish slappingly so - and I reckon a lot of people have similar opinions, but who in the heck wants to deal with the aggro over trivialities.


It may not be realistic of me, but I don’t like conceding that we humans are merely Skinner boxes completely enslaved to these responses.

I’m sure I’m a jumble of irrational impulses, but I also know that when something pops up on my feed that seems designed to stoke my outrage or to reinforce my worldview I look at it somewhat askance for that very reason. I also never, ever, ever believe something if it’s not sourced to a reputable news organization (which are themselves flawed instruments, but IMO orders of magnitude less so than most of the crap floating around). This doesn’t seem like rocket science to me.


Yep. A radio host I follow retweeted a meme that Fox News is banned in Canada because Fox lies to viewers. Pretty obvious that’s can’t be true and a quick google search verified that (Snopes and Politifact.) By the time I went back to the feed the Snopes article had already been posted.


Turns out it assumes correctly.


I think that social media is the next natural step in the decline of humans’ ability to consume information in a rational manner.

TV was a similar step, moving from the written word to television, where we could have information distilled into flashing images and fed into our brains without requring us to really process it. I feel like when you look at modern television news, it’s painfully obvious how shallow it is, focused more on raw viewership than a desire to convey useful information.

Social media is just another step down that same road, where information is further distilled into even simpler more lizard-brain level stuff. It’s all just flashing lights and crack pellets being dispensed to rats for pushing a button.


People have talked about social media as the new smoking… at first I was like, that’s ridiculous, don’t be stupid… but now I’m coming around to that point of view, as quitting Twitter was a major increase in my state of mind / wellbeing and general mental health.



In a portion of the prepared testimony, which was obtained by Business Insider on Monday, Twitter’s acting general counsel Sean Edgett wrote that the company began its review “with a universe of over 16 billion tweets — the total volume of original tweets on our platform during the relevant period.”

“Applying the methodology described above, and using detection tools we currently have in place, we identified 36,746 accounts that generated automated, election-related content and had at least one of the characteristics we used to associate an account with Russia,” the testimony continued.

“During the relevant period, those accounts generated approximately 1.4 million automated, election-related Tweets, which collectively received approximately 288 million impressions,” it said.


Social media is the Ministry of Truth.

Only they don’t even have to change the past because it turns out people are so fucking stupid they wont even check.