Opinion: Truth be told, sealing the Facebook rabbit hole wasn’t all bad

Opinion: Truth be told, sealing the Facebook rabbit hole wasn’t all bad

Facebook is back again, thank heavens, because or else there would have been no a single to notify me what to feel about 90-year-outdated William Shatner Star Trekking into place upcoming week.

And that, of system, led to a movie of Shatner singing (type of) Frequent Individuals with Joe Jackson on Jay Leno, which in switch led to Mike Devlin’s five-star overview of Jackson’s 2016 Victoria JazzFest present. And so on, till it was 3 a.m. and a bleary-eyed bunny was inquiring if it could remember to have its rabbit hole back.

Fb went down for a handful of several hours Monday and our collective IQ went up.

No fact-cost-free rants. No sanctimonious outrage primarily based on cherry-picked, out-of-context facts. No horse dewormer.

No bumper sticker philosophy (“If Strategy A did not perform, the alphabet has 25 more letters!”) No humble-bragging (“I’m honoured to have been invited to chair this year’s campaign….”) No mawkish homilies about people today who are so a lot worse off than you (“Kim has a picket leg — and termites”) however accomplish so considerably additional.

No Instagramming photos of meals. (Bear in mind when ­“sharing your lunch” intended giving someone fifty percent a sandwich?) No silos in which the Google U science majors can enhance and echo every single other’s ignorance. No tinfoil castles for the conspiracy freaks. “This is what the mainstream media really do not want you to know,” the latter like to say, whilst putting up something about chemtrails, or vaccines, or Obama’s boyhood with ISIS.

The media-conspiracy factor constantly ticks me off for the reason that, gosh, I guess that suggests our solution is out. We mainstreamers get jointly on Thursday nights at Spinnakers to co-ordinate the conspiracy, while Chris Gailus usually wishes to sing karaoke immediately after two beers and Hanomansing ordinarily disappears when it’s his flip to pay back for the hen wings.

In fact, the media-manipulation accusations are form of touching. I would weep with delight if I thought we were being ­capable of throwing a fifty percent-respectable conspiracy. Alas, here’s what standard media truly do not want you to know: there are days when we could not co-ordinate a 3-automobile funeral procession with out driving off in 4 directions and losing the stiff. I came to operate with my shirt on inside out previous thirty day period. Two times.

Common media resources — irrespective of whether in print, tv, radio or on-line — have been hollowed out in the latest several years, shedding journalists not because of a decline in a drive for news but due to the fact much of the promoting income that pays the payments has shifted to the likes of Google and Facebook. (Fortune magazine estimates Monday’s outage price tag Facebook near to $100 million US in missing advertisement funds, “a drop in the bucket.”) Conventional media are shedding out not to other news outlets, but to cat films and porn.

That leaves a digital ­landscape dotted by all fashion of news sites fewer dependent on advertisement dollars for their survival. A large amount of men and women are fairly content about that, arguing — rightly — that the move of info shouldn’t be filtered by means of just a few resources. That’s significantly genuine as the variety of conventional news retailers, and the selection of voices within them, shrinks.

The difficulty, however, is that rather of providing us a great wealth of credible sources, social media tends to funnel us into those people echo chambers that basically confirm our biases. And generally what gets offered as truth is practically nothing extra than what Stephen Colbert phone calls truthiness — the truth not as it is but as we want it to be, proof be damned — or data torqued to fulfill the agenda of whoever is jogging the site. The line among activism and journalism blurs. Often question your self: Who is spending for this? What is the issue of view they’re striving to promote?

Even when very well-intentioned, monotheistic resources that present the news from only a person point of view, or with only a token quotation from the other side, just fortify the tribalism that divides us. It might sound hokey, but one of the added benefits of local community journalism is that it functions like a neighbourhood pub, somewhere to sit down and trade opposing views and unconsidered sights, ideally devoid of throwing beer in each individual other’s faces. It is where we speak matters out.

But I digress, as is so ­frequently and lamentably the scenario. All I required to say on behalf of Facebook’s 2.85 billion account holders, including 27 million in Canada, is that we’re so happy it is again. Terrible as a information source, but a great place to listen to Shatner execute Rocket Gentleman.

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