Friday, May 3, 2019

Social Media Cleanup

I'm not involved with social media apps, never having had a Facebook account or a Twitter handle. Back in the 90s, I had a job as an insurance claims investigator, so I have an aversion to putting too much personal information online. Besides, do I really need a Facebook account so I can find out that someone I worked with over a summer thirty years ago hates Jewish people? I have friends, I prefer to see them in person when possible, and to talk on the phone when it's not. The idea that a sizable portion of the population of the US uses Facebook as a news source is enough to give me hives, especially because of the amount of disinformation disseminated via the 'network'.

The the banning of a rogues gallery of bad actors by Facebook and Instagram should serve to slow down the pipeline of bullshit a bit, but it took a good long while for multiple violations of the Terms of Service to trigger the bans. Particularly amusing to me is the right-wing outrage of the characterization of Louis Farrakhan as a right-winger... it just goes to show you how the entirety of right-wing culture in this country is motivated by an animosity towards African-Americans when righties can't recognize a theocratic, anti-semitic, homophobic religious fundamentalist as a fellow traveler. A common response to left-of-center calls to deplatform neo-Nazis was 'why don't they ban Farrakhan?' I don't see any lefties crying over him getting bounced along with Yiannopoulos, Loomer, and Jones.

The one bad thing about this wholesale deplatforming is that it destroys a source of some high-quality schadenfreude- I mean, I find this sort of shit hilarious. Of course, I'm not the sort of person who right-wing nuts and conspiracy loons target for harassment. Schadenfreude is a luxury I am willing to give up to make life more pleasant for the innocent victims of the assholes who were banned and their vicious brigades of followers.


mikey said...

Everybody gets to make their own decisions, but, for the record, you're wrong about both Facebook and Twitter.

Think about it. You say you'd rather interact with people in person, but how many people have you met online? Hundreds? How many Kiwis, Californians and others have you interacted with in just the dozen or so years I've known you?

It doesn't matter what 'others' use Facebook for. I have friends all over the world that I talk to every day on Facebook. It is a pleasant, and quite fulfilling part of my life - and their's.

As for Twitter, here you're missing something amazing and important. My first rule is I don't POST tweets. I'm a nobody, and nobody cares what I think. My second rule of Twitter is THINK about who you follow. I follow journalists, pundits, scientists, diplomats, astronauts - hundreds and hundreds of brilliant people, each with huge followings of their own. I learn from them every day. I laugh with them every day. And when something major is going on - natural disaster, coup, negotiation, etc. - I get real-time ground floor updates from people who are there, and people who are experts.

I'd strongly suggest you rethink your intransigence and dip a toe in the water. You'd actually be really glad if you did...

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I have to confess that I check out a few Twitter feeds, but I have no desire to sign up. I really don't need a bunch of cartoon frog avatar types posting idiotic 'memes' on my timeline.

As far as Facebook goes, I think it's hopelessly compromised, and have no curiosity about even browsing it.

mikey said...

I've NEVER ONCE had a cartoon frog meme posted on my timeline and I've been on Twitter for years.

And Facebook only shows you your 'friends' posts, so it's even better. Banks are hopelessly compromised but I still have a bank account. It's up to you, but I still think you'd make it a better place, and you'd be glad you did...

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