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01.21.20

The Internet is an Appalling Medium for News and It Has Only Gotten Worse

Posted in Deception at 10:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Social Control Media is Bad for Freedom and Its Net Benefit — If Any Exists — is Only Traffic, Not Information

Stack of Newspapers

Summary: Something ought to change in the way people gather and assess news; at the moment — as proper journalism runs out of steam (and budget) — things only deteriorate and quality suffers; this rapidly exacerbates as people come to rely on — and then relay — hearsay, not fact-checked bodies of work

‘Traditional’ (physical) newspapers have many associated downsides that are substantial. Among them: cost of printing, cost of distribution and profound effect on the environment. Then there’s of course the cost of staff, including reporters’ salaries. It’s all tilted in favour of the rich — those able to afford not only to read but also to produce (or run/subsidise printing houses).

But the Web presents many other issues, some of which we explored here before, occasionally in relation to press coverage about the European Patent Office (EPO). Those with vested interests can bribe the media to parrot their message/s, however misleading. It’s even cheaper online. Disinformation flows like water. Advertising budget can be a form of bribe and there are many other ways to bribe publishers without as much as basic oversight. It’s totally unregulated.

“It’s all tilted in favour of the rich — those able to afford not only to read but also to produce (or run/subsidise printing houses).”There are no easy solutions to all this other than teaching people critical skills and making them sceptical of sources and people, based on pertinent interests and funding sources, amongst other factors.

It’s no secret that we oppose so-called 'social' (control) media and we deliberately lack presence in it. Last year there was this good talk on this subject.

“Society and culture are harmed by what people nowadays call “media”.”If an alternative emerges, like a successor to the Internet or just the World Wide Web, we intend to embrace it early if not prematurely. A lot of the political climate worsened not owing to economic woes alone but a divisive, confrontational, partisan set of echo chambers online. Society and culture are harmed by what people nowadays call “media”.

I quite enjoyed Bryan Lunduke’s video entitled “Twitter is a vile hate machine.”

Three weeks ago he quit Twitter altogether and did some videos on the subject. The summary months ago was:

Twitter is a vile hate machine that provides no positive value (real or perceived) and I am stupid for using it.

Twitter is one of the worst out there, the worst likely being Facebook. Techrights has no presence there and none in Mastodon/Pleroma/Fediverse and Diaspora, either. It’s not really a proper type of medium in which to organise and relay information. As Richard Stallman explained a long time ago, the underlying concept may be flawed, whether it’s free/libre or not and whether it’s decentralised or not. Hopefully by the end of this year we will have produced more articles than we did over the past decade (on an annual basis). This past weekend — a long weekend that was a holiday (yesterday) — was slow for us and we were out of town, but throughout the rest of this week expect us to pick up the pace.

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