Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Internet or the Web as a Platform for News is Dying (If Not Already Dead)

A tabloid snapper

Summary: Partisan hacks have taken over the news cycles, feeding Internet trolls and chronic liars instead of publishing based on merit and accurate, verifiable truths (facts don't sell as much as emotion, including anger/rage)

THE Web is changing. The Internet as a whole is changing. Not for the better...

Once upon a time we had journals, news sites (local and (inter)national corporate media) and various personal pages in sites such as Geocities (yes, I too had a site in Geocities back in the 1990s). But now we have this "Social [Control] Media" nonsense, which is neither social nor media. It's sickening at times.

"But now we have this "Social [Control] Media" nonsense, which is neither social nor media."A lot of remaining 'journalism' is little but a tweet (or cluster of tweets) with a headline. The skills required to compose articles have been significantly lowered. Many so-called 'news' 'reports' nowadays look more or less like Facebook posts. No investigation required. It's all hearsay and claims, no fact-checking needed (it can only restrict the click-bait). The writers know something or nothing about the subject covered. Usually the latter... but their job isn't to study issues but to act as amplifiers of some agenda (company, political party and so on) and people are accordingly agitated, divided (there's no pursuit of truth, just partisan "tribes") and we're left with divided nations that speak more about race than class, more about wings than substance, more about money than human rights. Every time I try to visit the front page of the BBC it seems to serve no purpose other than repeating what Donald Trump and Boris Johnson say. Free pass. Facts-free...

Mouthpieces of governments and corporations... because might makes right and money is power.

An associate of ours, who participates heavily in Daily Links, can see the demise of journalism. "There aren't that high or even medium-yield tech-related sites to check," he told me. "There aren't even that many tech-related sites to check. Yes, there are a handful of crap Microsoft infomercials like Ars, Wired, and PCWorld. NO, there is not much else dedicated to ICT. Although while many of the more mainstream sites cover more ICT than years past, they are all more or less clue-free in regards to policy and strategy issues."

"We've long attempted to dodge all this binary "wing" thing; not being pro-Obama, or anti-Obama, or pro-Trump, or anti-Trump or whatever."A lot of them still blame "computers" for Microsoft Windows issues; this is related to the series we recently did about hospitals.

Where does this leave us? We've long attempted to dodge all this binary "wing" thing; not being pro-Obama, or anti-Obama, or pro-Trump, or anti-Trump or whatever. It's like a two-team sport. Too many sites, such as TechDirt, became just that. You pick a political side and then it's all "good versus evil" (and each side is sure that the other is pure evil on each pertinent issue). Two days ago John Cleese shared this old video of his, which is now three decades old. Have a listen (sorry about the awful file format):

So here we are at the end of a First Wave of a pandemic and there are protests if not riots in the streets. Even here in the UK...

"Because hey, who needs meaningful news anyway? We just need something to get very angry about, right?"People are upset and to be fair many of them have legitimate grievances. But how many news outlet are covering the scandals of the European Patent Office (EPO)? When was Benoît Battistelli last mentioned in the media (not even once this year) and why is corruption of António Campinos and his colleagues being totally ignored? Why are software patents no longer condemned?

No, all that white-collar crime doesn't matter as much as a British author "liking" a tweet about gender. Because hey, who needs meaningful news anyway? We just need something to get very angry about, right? Lynch mobs are a 'thing' now, supported by the media and primarily -- at least initially -- by Social Control Media, where hearsay is better than due process and good facts are superior to real facts. There's only one site we'll never link to and that's Watchtroll; the other day it posted another misleading rant about 35 U.S.C. ۤ 101 from a former ('retired') judge of the Federal Circuit, reinforcing the notion that former judges can become malicious lobbyists.

For those of us who still value what's true and what truly matters (and no, tweets don't matter all that much!) the shortlist of Web sites is getting ridiculously small. They might not be good at 'selling' stories, but their heart and art are in the right place.

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