Social media controls the world

Then it will be like: “Oh this band you liked every song you’ve ever heard from? We didn’t think you were interested so we didn’t bother putting in your feed.”

I’ve come to hate when bands don’t have their own channel and rely on the label. I don’t want to know every song from every artist that Epitaph has signed, thanks. I want to be alerted when the band I like put something new out.

It seems to go in cycles where it’s determined that I’m really into something I don’t care about and then fire off non-stop bangers out of nowhere and I discover a new band. Which in the end works out great, but it’s still weird when it’s in that weird cycle.

So, TikTok. Somewhat unavoidable even for an old tech curmudgeon like me when I’m browsing around the internet, but I’ve never used it as it is meant to be used. I actually only really saw it in action recently on vacation with a friend, once we spun down from the trip excitement and had some downtime, he sat down on the couch next to me and started, I guess the right word is “consuming”, TikTok. This is fucking horrible! Two or three seconds of pap, scroll to the next piece of pap, do that for an hour?! It was frankly a bit alarming, like watching someone shoot up heroin. I get that Facebook was/is bad, etc., but damn this seems like another thing.

Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a cloud that’s getting on my nerves.

Make sure your belt-onion is securely attached before you exert yourself overmuch.

No, fuck TikTok. It’s horrid, and I can not stand the mindless usage of many people (specifically my wife)

My belt onion is always on tight, because otherwise the Kaiser wins! @CraigM used the right word, it’s the mindlessness of it that I found so alarming. It’s just slackjawed “shove it in my eyes and brain” rather than maybe an interesting video with an actual point. Seems like you need a drool bib to watch it.

AWS?

5

Now, to be fair to TikTok, it is not exclusively a ‘them’ problem. Any social media can be useful or beneficial if it’s intentional. Now some are more useful or more toxic than others. But at root, if you are simply using a platform to connect with specific individuals or groups you deliberately select for purpose? They can be fine. Beneficial or good even!

But all of them, from TikTok to Facebook to YouTube and beyond quickly become harmful if you are simply surfing the wave of what the algorithm shows you. Now TikTok seems the worst, simply because the format neuters all nuance and depth. It flattens things so a PhD is next to a tinfoil hat crackpot and given equal weight. The short form content and blatant theft of ideas (the TikTok reaction style things are THE WORST! Two unrelated videos side by side with no meaningful added value simply to steal views) are more damaging, in many ways, because of how they destroy attention. Even though I don’t watch, it is fucking impossible for me to focus on the book I’m reading if my wife is bathing in the inanity of the algorithm in bed next to me, and I HATE it. Like if it is a show where there’s a cadence and tone and set pattern, I can tune it out. But the constant context switching every 5 seconds makes it absolutely brutal for me to maintain my focus, and I’m not even watching it!

And it is this sublimation to the whims of the algorithm that is most damaging. It destroys your own senses, consumes your attention and makes you dumber. It leaves you completely open to manipulation and propaganda.

Burn it all down to the ground.

I thought this was amusing, but the more I thought about it, fairly accurate.

Or buy your wife some nice headphones. I know that really improved marital bliss on my end.

Yeah when I am bored I’ll scroll Quora, which is hilarious. Their algorithm is a bit sketchy. I upvoted a bikini photo and now it is sending me nudes of…men. :open_mouth:

Slightly more professional, but also with plenty of drama, there is LinkedIn.

I know of Tiktok but would not dare to start watching it. It seems like pure condensed junk food, like the doritos and Pringles I have in my kitchen in preparation for the Italy - Switzerland match that starts in half an hr.

You take a bite, and then you take another.

Scheduled indulgence in this case, to be offset with a planned fast on Monday.

Is this a viable solution for social media, i.e. schedule your binge time (so a time block, not just randomly watching it) and offset it with a day of no social media?

DOJ hammers a Russian bot farm

eh, a few tweaks to a config file and buy a few more email servers and they’ll be back in business within a week.

Sure, but putting out a fire is still doing the right thing, even if you know there will be an unending number of fires to put out. Keep putting them out.

eh, Palmer Lucky created bot farms back in 2016 to help Trump win the election by doing all the misinformation about Hillary. There is zero difference in my mind between the two, but because one is an american citizen it’s OK but if you’re a foreign agent it isn’t.

Wake me up when they start closing down bot farms ran by US residents.

Still, even if you can’t close them all, closing some may make a difference, however slight. What’s the alternative? Giving up and looking the other way?