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The Hissy Fit Generation and The Loss of Free Speech VI: The Jekyll & Hyde of Social Media (3)

Photo by Zulmaury Saavedra on Unsplash

“People will accept ideas presented in technological form that would be abhorrent in any other form. It is utterly strange to hear my many old friends in the world of digital culture claim to be the true sons of the Renaissance without realizing that using computers to reduce individual expression is a primitive, retrograde activity, no matter how sophisticated your tools are.”

  — Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget


Censorship and Fakebook News

Since the fake news trope has been doing the rounds Facebook is now the Establishment’s social media tool of choice to combat the rise of alternative news outlets, as well as more mainstream but editorially more responsible news rooms such as Russia’s wildly popular flagship news network RT.  Under the banner of “tackling fake news” Zuckerberg’s crusade is the perfect platform for the terminally offended and the easily swayed by the vast echo chamber of predominantly left-liberal delusions that make up Facebook’s political discourse. News is further filtered, sanitised and put through the algorithmic grinder of FB’s ideology.

It doesn’t matter whether you are left or right leaning in your views  – one political belief censored in favour of another is bad news for free speech and democracy. Indeed, in late 2016 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided to employ a few websites that would have the honour of labelling stories as “fake news” according to an agreed media consensus. These include ABC News, Factcheck.org and PolitiFact, and the so-called myth-busting website Snopes.com. According to conservative website The Daily Caller there is a problem:Almost all of the writers churning out fact checks for Snopes have a liberal background, and many of them have expressed contempt for Republican voters. The Daily Caller could not identify a single Snopes fact-checker who comes from a conservative background. Snopes did not respond to a list of questions from The DC regarding the site’s ideological leaning.” [1] Match this with Facebook curators and you are unlikely to get unbiased news, rather  it will be selected according to what is deemed acceptable to modern day, left-liberal thinking. As discussed previously such thinking is no longer the kind of leftism that values free speech but has slipped into opinion-hungry authoritarianism.  

Debunking spurious news stories is less admirable when it comes from mega-corporations who are walking in step with Establishment, the cogs of which are greased by psychopathic perceptions. Thankfully, a large proportion of the public are simply not buying it.[2] This is due to the hard evidence provided by independent media of the very thing of which it has been accused: propagating lies and fake news propaganda. This is what makes it so painfully ironic. The mainstream media is, and has always been fake news. It has been caught red-handed, with its pants down  on numerous occasions, peddling sometimes subtle psyops and on other occasions ludicrous BS that would have made Machiavelli cry with shame. Whether it’s 24hr fear-mongering, Deep State anti-Russian propaganda, paid-up editorials, or the ping-pong of culture wars,  the MSM has been at the forefront of the most atrocious fake news for many decades.

Facebook has elected to take on the “disinformation” circulating from alternative news outlets and conveniently forget the most obvious examples of fake news which was spread by most of the corporate-chained MSM. The explosive details of tacit media support and collusion for the Clinton election campaign exposed in the Wikileaks Podesta emails and by The Intercept was purposely omitted and suppressed by Facebook, Google and Twitter as a matter of policy – policy which is founded on personal opinion of their CEOs and shaped by the Liberal arm of the Establishment.  This included drafting news pieces and handing them to suitably “friendly” media plants dotted around MSM outlets. [3] An internal strategy document dated January 2015 reads: “As we discussed on our call, we are all in agreement that the time is right [to] place a story with a friendly journalist in the coming days that positions us a little more transparently while achieving the above goals.” [4] All of this and more was happily shared on social networks with Facebook as the primary disseminator.

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The Hissy Fit Generation and The Loss of Free Speech VI: The Jekyll & Hyde of Social Media (2)

“It is no longer possible to stand up for all speech.”

Sinead McSweeney, Twitter’s vice president of public policy and communications for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa

***

“The First Amendment doesn’t protect a user’s speech on a private company’s site. On the contrary, the First Amendment protects Facebook’s right to say what can appear on its platform.”

— Jack Smith, Business Insider


Whether we have our faces glued to the smartphone in the street or feverishly checking our Twitter and Facebook accounts on our lap top at work, face-to-face interaction is fast being replaced by social media, which has society built around it. These networks offer steadily diminishing returns on social investment since a large proportion is rooted in self-promotion, self-admiration and the endless noise of opinions. The latter is drawn from a long since compromised mainstream media that has the audacity to charge alternative media with propagating “fake news,” a meme expressly created by neo-Cold War strategists within the Deep State to counter the non-existent presence of Russian interference in US elections. Opinions therefore are useful for creating emotional capital  and the noise of distraction for the rest of us, so that intel agencies can continue to extract all the data they want.

Meantime, young adults are having to cope with an economic time-bomb; the legacy of poor parenting and a lack of play; minimal contact with nature and poor social skills. On top of a pervasive technology that is re-wiring the brain from easily accessible hardcore porn to virtual and highly superficial forms of exchange which, by their very nature, “optimise” and “compress” information down to soundbites. The pace of information exchange and the ratio of quantity over quality means that the highs and consequent lows are making addicts and infants out of many millennials and Generation Zer’s. The neuro-hacking of culture over the last few decades has given us a crisis in the young, now exacerbated by social media and smartphone technology. Yet, such technology is here to stay. So, can we turn it around and apply its true potential?

First, we must dig deep in order to find out what’s truly going on.

***

Facebook, more popular than Google, is now herding over 2 billion users and growing faster than any year since 2012. According to Tech Crunch the platform hasn’t lost its popularity with”66 percent of Facebook’s monthly users return each day now compared to 55 percent when it hit 1 billion.”  The social networking giant has an enormous influence on young minds and society as a whole in ways we are only just beginning to fathom.

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg offered his new mission statement to “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” This has to get the prize for the most disingenuous statement since George W. Bush claimed he was bringing freedom to Iraq. The world is getting closer together all right but we ‘ain’t holding hands. Rather, we are giving over our freedom and the very kernel of our minds to a new form of corporatism and surveillance. Analysts can barely keep up with how Facebook and other social media platforms are literally redesigning our lives and psychology.

As smartphone usage attests, there are voluminous studies indicating how social media (Facebook) is bad for your health. A family member often tells me: “Time just seems to disappear when I’m checking Facebook…It’s like I’m under a spell!” Two hours almost seem like two minutes. Yet, they frequently come away feeling exhausted rather than inspired. Why? University of Kent psychologists wrote in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology that compared to general internet use Facebook and its related stimuli can lead us to underestimate time. Although general internet use has the same effect, Facebook was the  worst offender for such time distortion. The distortion of time locks us into a greater exposure to social media and internet surfing than we realise, suggesting that our mind is in a specific state of addictive suggestibility.[1] They found that it was Facebook-related images that changed how we pay attention to this visual stimuli, and likely plays a significant part in the rise of internet addiction as a whole.

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