Date: October 11, 2018 09:56AM
More milquetoast squeamishness from the people who pretend to a unique ear to the god of us all.
Rather than social media fasting, we are long overdue for social media abstinence:
***If “Antisocial Media” is scholarly in tone, Jaron Lanier’s “Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now” is cheeky. Lanier, a computer scientist who has become one of Silicon Valley’s best-known apostates, aims to convince us that Facebook, Twitter and other such platforms are so deeply corrupt, their effects so personally and socially destructive, that we need to ditch them, and fast. “Quitting entirely is the only option for change,” he writes.
Lanier sees social media as a manipulative system that demeans everyone it ensnares. The more information about ourselves we feed into it, the better it gets at steering our thoughts and opinions. The essential business of a company like Facebook, he argues, is behavior modification. Not only does it harvest incredibly detailed data about individuals’ habits and preferences, but it also runs myriad experiments aimed at determining which messages and other stimuli are most likely to grab attention, elicit strong reactions and trigger compulsive consumption of information. Needless to say, these kinds of sophisticated techniques for psychological engineering are extremely valuable to advertisers that want to sell us goods. They’re equally valuable to political operatives, legitimate or otherwise, who want to shape our views.
Because the techniques are hidden from us — the companies treat their algorithms as trade secrets — we’re rarely conscious of the ways we’re being manipulated.***https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/is-facebook-the-problem-with-facebook-or-is-it-us/2018/06/28/5949992e-5939-11e8-8836-a4a123c359ab_story.html?utm_term=.698b93043624
Here’s but one example of those who seek to manipulate our views via Facebook:https://theintercept.com/2016/09/12/facebook-is-collaborating-with-the-israeli-government-to-determine-what-should-be-censored/
Of course, everyone from solitary individuals to deep-pocketed collectives have sought to shape our views and have done so for millennia, but never on such a scale and in so hidden a way as today via social media.
Skip the fast and abstain altogether is not only my recommendation but is also the recommendation of a growing number of the very people who brought us the internet and social media.