Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Uselessness of Social Control Media and Why We Need RSS Feeds' Resurgence More Than Ever

Information overload can only be tackled using tools that are truly in one's own hands

Social Control Media

Summary: Social control media became pure noise or misinformation, usually in pursuit of financial expansion alone, and it is also a censorship machine which discourages not falsehoods but unconventional thinking

THE longtime readers of this Web site are aware that we don't do social control media. I personally do, but the site does not. It probably never will. It's just not worth the trouble and the distraction/disruption it has become to the lives of so many.

As The Atlantic put it in a new article, "ill-prepared arguments and political firestorms are generally not helpful" ("Twitter Is Not as Important as Journalists Make It Seem" is the headline of this article).

"It’s centrally-filtered (censored) communication, disguised as “social” — a nice-sounding term. The word “media” isn’t helpful either as it’s no substitute/alternative to actual journalism/news."I am partly guilty for spending quite a bit of time posting there, albeit only as part of the process of researching for future articles and Daily Links. I'm well aware of the downsides and have repeatedly thought about quitting such sites altogether. It's impossible to be in control in such sites; by participating there one is outsourcing all decisions to for-profit companies with their own business agenda, exposing oneself to know foes and trolls (visibility of the whole world, including 'bot armies' which leverage platforms for misinformation campaigns, at times incitations by armies). It's centrally-filtered (censored) communication, disguised as "social" -- a nice-sounding term. The word "media" isn't helpful either as it's no substitute/alternative to actual journalism/news.

"I've more than once "shared" or "retweeted" things which later turned out to be false. I wasn't even able to correct these afterwards (no "edit" option like with articles)."One perceived 'upside' of such "media" is the real-time nature of it, but in practice that means leaping past fact-checking, airing false rumours and hearsay instead. The supposed lag of news site should be seen as a strength, not a weakness. Stories can take time to understand, especially as they can be complex and different people have different points of view, interpretation, or conflicting information. I've more than once "shared" or "retweeted" things which later turned out to be false. I wasn't even able to correct these afterwards (no "edit" option like with articles).

So do you still get your "news" from sites like Twitter or Facebook? Be very careful. The bosses of these sites (shareholders) have an agenda different from yours, so those who you 'befriend' or 'follow' aren't really the ones informing you. There are algorithms between you and them and we know who controls (and hides) these algorithms. There's no neutrality, there's a business model.

"What to use instead for news? Use RSS feeds."There's another angle that's scarcely explored; because speed is favoured rather than accuracy/quality important information that's 'tweeted' won't be noticed later on, unless one relies on archiving, and it won't matter a day later either. It's very difficult to locate old material and to sort it serially/sequentially. It's basically a mess with no linkage between one post and another. It's a storm of brainfarts with random links thrown here and there. Tweets have the shelf life of a pierced apple.

What to use instead for news? Use RSS feeds. Find sites that are trustworthy (don't rely on searches across sites, as some sites can be dodgy and inaccurate, in effect noise blending in with the signal). Our RSS feed's URL has been the same since 2006 and published in it were 26,738 blog posts.

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