The Internet’s Social Sewage

From The Rise of Populism Is Hurting Journalism : Monday Note

Just subscribe to some Facebook groups supporting various populist factions and you’ll be appalled by the mixture of fake news and putrid ideologies, in which the claim for a more equitable society is practically anecdotal. Facebook has become the dumpster of free expression with a significant casualty: facts.

The whole article is depressing reading but worth reading, particularly if you are trying to unravel and understand just what is happening at the moment. It has suddenly — it at least appears that way to me — become more complicated and difficult to understand just what, who, how and why. Just look at the train wreck that is Brexit, none of the existing rules apply when reporting, discussion and debating the subject.

The consequences are extremely frightening, but I’m trying to avoid attributing causation. We can’t tell for the moment if this media sidelining (to put it mildly) is a symptom or one of the causes.

I took a conscious decision a couple of years ago to wind down my binge reading through Twitter and read more long form, either in the guise of newspapers/magazines or online publications (like the referenced Monday Note), and I can tell you quite simply, a considered and delayed point of view is almost always better. Real-time news is just that — a live stream of information, mis-information, supposition, cack-handed analysis that eventually leads to a better understanding. But do we need to see the insides and risk wrongly informing people whom are predisposed to not make it to the end (TL;DR) ?

22 January 2019, F.W.I