09.06.20

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Social Control Media Ought Not Influence Election Outcomes (But It Does, Oftentimes Based on Misinformation, No Quality Control)

Posted in Deception at 1:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Social Control Networks. What are they good for?

Big crowd

Summary: Many reasons exist to not participate in mass communication media where falsehoods flow uninterrupted and trolls generally thrive

THE issues associated with “Social Control Media” (or “Social Control Networks”) have long been dissected here. 3 months ago I became 'write-only' in Twitter (my ‘participation’ there is limited to making mere copies) because it’s a ruinous noise machine where so-called ‘users’ (useds as RMS calls them) are likely to receive/absorb as many falsehoods as actual, true, evidence-backed facts. It’s all about perception and ‘feel’ or ‘engagement’ (where supposed merit of posts is judged by number of “likes”, rewarding click-bait and emotion, not accuracy).

“It’s a potential pool for falsehoods and lynch mobs. It drags people down to a very low level or common denominator.”Techrights is about more than software freedom, but it doesn’t dwell or obsess over “Social Control Media” (or “Social Control Networks”) all that often. It’s really not a subject of focus here. I myself (as an individual) still have some accounts on those networks; Techrights does not (and never will). It’s worse than a waste of time. It’s a potential pool for falsehoods and lynch mobs. It drags people down to a very low level or common denominator. This is Jim Zemlin’s (Linux Foundation) very last tweet, dated 15 months ago:

Mind the top comment. Some real maturity, eh? Way to paint all the Linux Foundation’s sceptics and opponents as a bunch of aggressors and/or trolls. Jim Zemlin has been keeping a low profile over the past 1.5 years. Even press releases barely mention his name any longer.

And then there’s politics.

“Social Control Media” (or “Social Control Networks”) can generally reward lots of charlatans and liars, even hate groups. Unlike the media (with all its flaws), it’s very easy to manipulate groups of people in “Social Control Media” (or “Social Control Networks”) and go ‘viral’ with outright lies. So all around the world career liars can leverage sites like Facebook (with Instagram, WhatsApp etc.) to elect themselves. Fear-mongering, lies, and deliberate distortions are all ‘fair play’, albeit warning labels or so-called ‘fact-checking’ belatedly come to these sites (it doesn’t scale; they can only target high-profile accounts and there will certainly be false positives).

“Thankfully Techrights doesn’t bother with that nonsense and mostly relies on RSS (subscription) to reach readers.”So my advice is, as always, do not get started with this mess, either as reader or participant. I myself am sort of ‘stuck’ in this mess; I’m weaning myself off it, over time…

Thankfully Techrights doesn’t bother with that nonsense and mostly relies on RSS (subscription) to reach readers. Less overhead, no middlemen. After almost 14 years the site has enough following, so it doesn’t need things like Twitter or even Mastodon.

Just because many people do something or use something doesn’t mean it’s harmless/benign. Many people still walk around with a tracking device that’s not obligatory to carry (they call it “phone”). Many people equate this thing called “Facebook friend” with a real friend; so much so that they lack time to actually meet those people and instead they scroll up and down ‘walls’, pressing “like” on things, expecting others to reciprocate with “likes” to make an appearance of popularity.

” Many people equate this thing called “Facebook friend” with a real friend; so much so that they lack time to actually meet those people and instead they scroll up and down ‘walls’, pressing “like” on things, expecting others to reciprocate with “likes” to make an appearance of popularity.”When my wife and I first met (2011) she still used a phone and had a Facebook account; she has neither now and she’s a lot happier. She’d rather read articles and cook than press “like” on somebody’s breakfast photo.

As for myself, since June we’ve been posting to Techrights at a pace of 300+ posts per month and we’ll reach the 30,000 posts milestone in about 5 months, i.e. around of February 2021. Later that year the site turns 15. The articles receive a lot more attention — especially positive attention — than any “tweet” or “quip” or whatever they’re called. We don’t crave comments or “likes”; we just want to put as much accurate information out there as possible. Yesterday we were in the front page of Slashdot and various other high-profile sites. The “Linusgate” article was viewed over 50,000 times. This very rarely happens in a site like Twitter and even when that happens all that people see is a single out-of-context sentence and/or image.

We need to get back to real news and abandon “Social Control Media” (or “Social Control Networks”).

“We need to get back to real news and abandon “Social Control Media” (or “Social Control Networks”).”There’s an election coming soon in the United States. I’m rather cynical about the whole thing because Wall Street and the “eternal wars” machine have once again trotted out two truly terrible candidates, letting the public choose the “lesser evil” (no real choice on important policies, such as environmental reforms, public health access, taxes imposed on the super-rich and so on).

But here’s the thing–

Regardless of who one chooses (Biden is obviously the lesser evil), how will people form their opinions? What will judgement of candidates be based on? An unscrupulous “tweet”?

In a sense, right off the bat, “Social Control Media” (or “Social Control Networks”) will favour the better liar. The supporters likewise. Those who are morally depraved would be a lot more eager to spread falsehoods and outright lunacy (like QAnon). Because ends justify means, right? And fascism is all good when the so-called ‘president’ foments violence and conflicts in the streets of his own country.

“In a sense, right off the bat, “Social Control Media” (or “Social Control Networks”) will favour the better liar.”I really don’t look forward to the next two months; the Web will be a fatal trap of lies and distortions (with corrections receiving nowhere near the same level of exposure as shameless propaganda). One could argue — as many increasingly do — that companies like Facebook and Twitter have compromised democracy and basic public integrity all around the world. We more or less know who controls and subsidises those sites.

Wanna change things for the better? Shun those companies. Vote with the legs and feet (and computer mouse). Get an RSS reader today and subscribe to credible sources of information — sites that don’t evaluate merit based on the number of mindless drones who press “like”…

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