You’re going to be seeing me sharing a whole lot less on Twitter and Facebook, because I believe Facebook is Godzilla. That may not make sense, so let me explain…
With the latest revelations from Cambridge Analytica, it’s clear that we are being manipulated by our participation in social media. And, to paraphrase WOPR from Wargames, the only winning move is not to play.
While misuse of their platform is ultimately Facebook’s responsibility, I don’t really blame them for Cambridge’s manipulations. I believe them when they say they’re trying to increase community and social engagement and enhancing democracy. Mark Zuckerburg believes he’s helping.
Facebook: King of Monsters
See, I liken Facebook to Godzilla. That giant lizard stomping through Tokyo believes he’s helping the citizens by fighting Mothra. He doesn’t see the poor people below being stomped flat or crushed beneath the rubble he’s generating. Godzilla doesn’t kill people because he’s evil. He’s no monster, but he is monstrous.
Facebook is the same. They truly believe that connecting people and enhancing their ability to share and relate and communicate makes people’s lives better. Unfortunately, bad players are adept and game their algorithms, and easily manipulate people’s fears and prejudices.
That manipulation drives moderates out of political discourse, and allows more extreme views to propagate easily. That’s how we get the Tea Party and Trump; reactionaries activated by social media shout-down the moderate Republicans who are willing to work and compromise.
This isn’t goodbye.
So you’re not likely going to see me participating so much in Twitter and Facebook any more. I say not likely because I’m human and weak and crave that validation and feedback, so some retweets and likes and hearts are inevitable.
That said, Twitter and Facebook are still fantastic aggregators for content, and I won’t be completely inactive there. You’ll see this post, probably, listed there, for example, but I’ll try and post most of my content here. I won’t be as interactive, but I’m not going away.