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The War Between Mainstream and Social Media

10/05/2021

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I was a little incensed by the topic of a 60 Minutes episode which featured a "Facebook whistleblower" who breathlessly reports that Facebook promotes divisive policies to make money. 

It's not that I think Facebook is being falsely accused of dividing people or harming the psyche of low self-esteem people; it's that CBS and all the other networks and profit-media organizations do exactly the same thing.

It's so damn hypocritical.

It's not only hypocritical, it's telling.  I have this belief in a war of sorts between classical "mainstream" media and social media platforms, with the former engaged in a life-and-death attack on the latter for control.  

Social media as a general concept demonstrates that we don't need a few concentrated outlets feeding us news with a few "authoritative faces and voices".  In terrifying realization of this, that's why the mainstream media is eager to underscore the lack of integrity in, and overstate the danger of, social media - even to said hypocritical levels. 

The CBSs of the world won't be happy until nobody trusts social media (or by another perspective, people freely talking to each other), and, in fact, come to fear it.  The old media must retain its power.

The kicker here as that I personally don't respect either institution's platforms because they are both fighting for dominant control over our minds. 

I say this of mainstream media for the reason I just outlined above, but in the case of social media platforms I say this because they maliciously eclipse the power of the core web, the original and pure form of "social media",  where people can really post anything they want.  Social media platforms draw people away from this power and wind up resetting "digital freedom" in their monetizing operational  image. 

This should be a world by now of a million independent blogs on the world wide web, but instead, we have a few big tech social media platforms with "feeds".

Set up a blog?  You'd be lucky today to find anyone born after 1995 who even knows the difference between the web and Facebook, let alone knows how to use Microsoft Notepad and an FTP client to post an image to the world.

I have no love lost for Trump supporters, but at least they got kicked in the teeth by social media enough that they became "woke" to this danger.  At long last, a large and meaningful (if not deranged) segment of the population was reminded of the social media company dominance that has way too much control over their expressions.

People:  Learn to host a blog on the actual World Wide Web (like the blog you're looking at now).  It's vulnerable to de-platforming, yes, but you retain that "last mile" freedom such that a stronger case is required as is a more complex initiation.

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Bitter Over Twitter

01/09/2021

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No, Twitter, just, no.

Same message to Facebook, and same for Google Play Store.

These "President Trump is being censored in social media" milestones always put me in the awkward position of having to explain how I can concurrently reject Trump's presidency while going nuts whenever social media platforms take measures to curb him.  As per the current action of Twitter suspending his account.

The answer of course is that the actions taken against Trump really have nothing to do with Trump.  It has more to do with my advocacy of an open web, and, a basic understanding that Facebook and Twitter are really just capitalism's answer to China's Great Firewall.  No government, no corporation lobby, and certainly no government comprised of corporation lobbies, is ever going to give the power of worldwide broadcast to any wahoo that wants to operate a broadcast station unless there was absolute control over them first.  One of the only ways to do that effectively is to create a chokepoint.

China freely turned its entire internet infrastructure into a chokepoint.  Every internet user in China is easily surveilled, and content from elsewhere around the world is easily blocked, all from a (relatively) central control position.  A percentage of Chinese citizens that go the extra distance to beat those controls through proxies and the like is small so the censorship effort is still effective.  

In our culture, the same control is absolutely necessary (speaking as a hypothetical stakeholder of the status quo I mean) but the tact, as not to offend democratic narratives, is more delicate and far more decentralized. 

To achieve this, a few simple ingredients along with a few simple rules about how they interact, are required.  Left to their own devices these ingredients and rules self-evolve into (a superpower's requirement of) censorship and chill.  Aside from the possibility that a few stupidhead 'socialists' can always complain about lack of regulation, there is no-body to blame.

One ingredient, and I can probably cite quite a few, is the commodification of curiosity and a taxing of human being's thirst for knowledge and understanding. In other words, search.  The original search engines assumed that the point of their existence was to facilitate a breathlessly curious world -- not to monetize. 

It didn't take long for Google and Google's early competition to realize that every search action was a goldmine and capitalist rules and zero ideas of counterweight regulations allowed it to grow into the behemoth it is now. 

As Google proved it can dominate (as Microsoft proved it can dominate, as Twitter proved it can dominate, as Facebook proved it can dominate), the "government" of course forged its internal "off-book" relationships with each.  Government regulation, action or inaction, came to exclusively favor these icons of what we now deem "Big Tech".  For these big tech companies they reign supreme and get to keep making money.  For the government, they get their chokepoints.

It doesn't take too much imagination to figure the sort of alliance this makes for, but if you need the picture, Snowden seems to have dumped them for you.

Twitter's decision acts specifically in response to what happened at the nation's Capitol.  What happened there is a topic in its own right and I have ways of seeing how an out-of-control right-wing engineered it, and I have theories of how the left-wing engineered it.  But I promise you this my dear reader, Trump was more part the mob than its leader.

You can read Twitter's blog posting on its reasoning for banning Trump's account, but as far as I'm concerned it's just a rationalization of tampering with something as sacred as free speech by stretching out the impact of a lot of subjective conclusions.  

The real arguments have nothing to do with Trump's application of a social media platform, so Twitter and Facebook are truly creating their own relevance.  Note how the debate itself solidifies themselves as "the internet" while the "real internet" is thus dissipated further without notice.

Trump, an apolitical sentient some time ago, simply picked up his inclination to run for president.  Seeking the easiest path, he tuned into AM-right-wing radio, discovered an easy herd ripe for exploitation, and set out to do just that.  It's that simple people.  The mass media mediums that beget Trump were traditional radio and television.  FCC stuff.

Point of fact, open expression to the widest gulf prevented this demigod from being re-elected.  Can you even begin to imagine what a president like this one, traditionally bound to mere press releases and press conferences, might have done in the "usually" invisible political plane where backdeals and shady dynamics lurch?  Fuck that.  We needed to see this man's tweets.

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Facebook As the Placebook

05/25/2020

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I decided to click the little exclamation point for "More Website Information" that Facebook now includes with most feed posts, next to one of my own recent posts.

In the event you actually wonder if Hillary runs a pedophile ring, click the exclamation point.

The idea of this new information system is so that Facebook can give the average clicker an idea of a website's validity and integrity, a system largely developed in wake of attempts by foreign state competitors attempting to influence the outcome of elections by taking advantage our nation's low barrier information exchange systems (read: the web, social media).  You may recognize that effort covered in the mainstream media as "Russian Interference".

Why Facebook thinks that people who are actually brain-numb enough to believe Hillary Clinton runs a pedophila ring in the basement of pizza parlors would be inquisitive enough to try and understand the integrity of a given source publishing that information is beyond me.  People who "believe" and share that type of information are more than likely doing it out of personal satire, not because they actually believe it.

I actually think I do know:  Social media giants and the mainstream media both need you to believe that people are that stupid because it then permits them to introduce yet more controls and more instruments to track human inquisitiveness, while maybe driving a political or social agenda in the process.  Instruments such as the button under discussion that allows you to review "more information" about a given post, for example.

When I clicked on the one for my post, linking back to my website, I chuckled over the clinical assessment at first.  But gaffed when I saw this:

 

Dwghosting doesn't have a Facebook page, oh no!

Facebook, in the authorative presentation of a risk assessment agent, was pointing out that my hosting company, Dave the Web Guy Innovations, does not have a Facebook page.  The implication being that my content potentially threatens western democracy.

Holy smokes!  

Well I guess as owner operator of Dave the Web Guy Innovations and its functional subsidary Dave the Web Guy Hosting, I better start one up!  Get it going.  Get my presence branded and restore Facebook's version of "trust it" about me, to the world. 

If I really want to stand apart, to really show my authentic export to the world, I best also buy up some ad impressions and what not.  After all, if I'm not buying ad space, maybe I'm just a con going through the trouble to make a Facebook page to beat this incriminating designation as a "non-Facebook-page" owner.  Oh no!  Facebook:  Shutup and take my money!  Vindicate me!  Approve me!

So basically, Facebook, as part of its undeclared strategy to replace the World Wide Web with its own monetizing version of it, is casting fear and distrust of any digital stage built outside it.

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