Author Topic: Antisocial media?  (Read 1259 times)

Offline pwhole

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Antisocial media?
« on: May 05, 2021, 10:13:43 pm »
This interview with venture capitalist, author and musician Roger McNamee on Channel 4 News tonight was interesting - about whether facebook can actually be held to account by governments (and the public) for its activities. He was an early investor in facebook, but has recently written a book on their excesses and their reach. Over the last year, I've been worried by the number of people I know, or know of, who previously had little interest in politics or any kind of radical ideas, but are now deeply-embroiled in irrational conspiracy theory - as the 'cause' of Covid, economic issues and other big problems, and seemingly unable to resist talking about it. That bothers me, partly as they never did it before, and partly as their rationalisations are so lame and so easily countered that I can only conclude it's their exposure to social media that's causing it. Obviously this can result in some rather tense conversations. Anyway, see what you think:

https://www.channel4.com/news/facebook-need-to-be-held-to-account-says-author-roger-mcnamee

Online PeteHall

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2021, 10:23:27 pm »
Over the last year, I've been worried by the number of people I know, or know of, who previously had little interest in politics or any kind of radical ideas, but are now deeply-embroiled in irrational conspiracy theory - as the 'cause' of Covid, economic issues and other big problems, and seemingly unable to resist talking about it.

Umm... isn't that mostly just because everyone has been locked up at home with bugger all else to do than browse pointless crap on the internet and get pissed off with the world?

I'm sure social media has had some impact on this, but at the end of the day, all the government and media bullshit has been enough to drive anyone to conspiracy theories.

Offline aardgoose

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2021, 10:30:00 pm »
No, it isn't a covid thing. Look at social media role in Trump's rise.  It is why he is enraged by Facebook cutting him off, because it is his cheap way to raise money and converts, and why Florida is proposing fining social media companies who ban politicians (no the 1st Amendment  doesn't help them). Despite Trump and friends violating Facebook's terms of service for years.


The problem is facebook relies on division to drive up its 'readership' and segment them and hence increase its advertising revenue...it is incentivised to be anti-social.

https://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-knew-algorithms-divided-users-execs-killed-fixes-report-2020-5?r=US&IR=T



Offline pwhole

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2021, 10:35:11 pm »
Umm... isn't that mostly just because everyone has been locked up at home with bugger all else to do than browse pointless crap on the internet and get pissed off with the world?

Well it hasn't happened to me, in any shape or form, and I've been just as bored and internet-based as everyone else. One my friends went on a rant just the other day about how he can't trust the 'mainstream media' any more, but every other sentence referred to the BBC as liars. I don't doubt they're generally unapposed to government policy, but he seemed to think that they are actively engaged in duping the public on everything. I mentioned that there plenty of other British news outlets out there, like ITN/C4 for example, and many, many newspapers, but he didn't seem to have remembered they exist. When I asked him what he considered reliable info sources, he said facebook and twitter.

Online mikem

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2021, 12:24:29 am »
The proliferation of media gives the individual more choice, but we don't have time to filter that amount of information, so we generally stick to whatever agrees with our perceptions, & often end up getting a less rounded view of the world. But then 100 years ago we had very little choice & ended up in 2 world wars (either boom or bust seems to be the modus operandi of many populations).

Offline NewStuff

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2021, 05:11:17 am »
We have a huge array of information sources, some good, some bad. And little to no critical thinking ability in a significant percentage of the population. Social media wouldn't be a problem if people would stop and think. but they don't, and given the lack of consequences, they won't. This is not something that can be fixed short term, nor is it a recent problem that's sprung up on us. It has however, reached a seemingly "critical mass" where its is very obvious and noticeable.
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Offline royfellows

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2021, 08:19:52 am »
I dont do facebook and the more I hear about it the more I consider myself wise. This thread has just reinforced my opinions even further!
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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2021, 08:32:24 am »

Anyone seen 'The Social Network' film about facebook/Zuckerburg.

I've not btw, but happened to have a conversation about MB/MZ with someone last night on this very topic and he advised me to watch it.  He's a very level headed guy, we'll read, well informed, erudite, intelligent and I trust his opinion. 

His opinion seems to but that MZ and FB are one of the most evil things on this planet, and that MZ seems to be hell bent on taking over the world, and doesn't care if he screws over the entire global population to get there.  He seemed quite vehement of this. 

I hate facebook, but feel trapped into using it to keep in touch with a number of old friends/family and acquaintances that seem to use it regularly.

I feel now, like I need to do more reading around the topic.

Online Down and beyond

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2021, 08:42:58 am »
Don’t have Facebook or anything similar , I feel their absolute poison! Nothing wrong with a good old fashioned phone call  :thumbsup:

Offline Speleofish

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2021, 08:50:42 am »
Going back to the original post, I'm surprised by the number of people I would previously have described as broad-minded who now distrust almost all of the mainstream media. I can understand taking against The Mail or the Telegraph if you're of a left wing persuasion or disagreeing with the Guardian or the Mirror if you're more to the right. However, these people seem to consider all the printed press and the BBC and ITV to be irretrievably biased and unreliable. What's interesting is that they are rather less consistent about their new sources of news - though a disturbing number seem to like Russia Today....

Online mikem

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2021, 09:12:59 am »
The real problem is the lack of trust the political parties have created.

I don't think Zuckerberg wants to take over the world, I do think a lot of powerful people are troubled by the influence he has. He also has a lot of people working for him who are pushing to create their own fortunes, which is what is probably driving FB's less desirable sides:
https://www.forbes.com/profile/mark-zuckerberg/?sh=21674813e06d

Online PeteHall

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2021, 09:40:40 am »
Don’t have Facebook or anything similar , I feel their absolute poison! Nothing wrong with a good old fashioned phone call  :thumbsup:

I have been trying to track down an old caver about a project he used to work on. He's quite a reclusive character and none of his old mates have heard from him for years and the phone numbers I have been provided no longer work. I was able to track down his brother on Facebook and I'm now in touch. This isn't something that could be replaced with a good old fashioned phone call.

It might be evil, but it's pretty useful at times, which is why we all keep using it...

Online mikem

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2021, 09:46:50 am »
Well, it could, but it would have taken a lot more calls / longer!

Offline Fulk

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2021, 10:59:29 am »
Quote
which is why we all keep using it
Really?

Online PeteHall

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2021, 11:36:01 am »
Quote
which is why we all enough of us keep using it
Really?

Is that better?

It works because enough people use it. It's convenient and there isn't an equally convenient alternative.

A friend recently decided to purge himself of all Zuckerberg influence and it's a total pain in the arse now he isn't on the group WhatsApp, because that's where everyone else is.

Offline ttxela2

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2021, 12:57:09 pm »
I dunno, seems to me I see very little objectionable being produced by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like directly, yes they have algorithms to steer you towards advertising and point you towards content they think you'll engage with based on previous activity but beyond that they are just a medium for communication.

Unfortunately if you shut down all social media tomorrow the bullies, racists, mysoginists etc. won't all disappear, they'll still be out there with those thoughts and tendancies in their head. What these platforms have done is strip a lot of inhibitions away and show a lot of people for who they really are.

Much like asking a close friend "I'd really like to know what you think" you may not, in fact, really like what they think.....

Social media enable you to do that on a global scale.



Offline aardgoose

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2021, 01:17:58 pm »
The problem is facebook and others have allowed gaming by vast numbers of false accounts, so they actively direct people to connect with and amplify conspiracy theories and other disinformation, see QANON etc. 

They just don't direct people towards their interests, the algorithms actively direct people to more extreme content because that gets more clicks.  This has been documented by facebook, but they won't stop it, because it is profitable. Youtube has similar issues.

Facebook isn't a neutral party, it actively promotes division and hatred because that gets it more money.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2021, 01:26:34 pm by aardgoose »

Online Ian P

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2021, 01:28:47 pm »

Anyone seen 'The Social Network' film about facebook/Zuckerburg.

It is a fascinating and educational film. Using FB after watching it feels a bit different.

Using FB / social media is like most things in life. Used well it is a useful resource. FB can be a wealth of useful information. I prefer to “manage it” rather than take the “I don’t do FB” stance. Each to their own.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2021, 01:52:28 pm »
However you manage it, it's still tracking your every move; this is quite sinister.

'Fraid I'm still firmly in the "I'm not a Zuckerberg Zombie" camp.

Offline Fulk

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2021, 02:25:38 pm »
I thought that FB was a data-mining operation that makes vast amounts of money by selling that data to anyone and everyone who can afford to pay for it, masquerading as:
Quote
just a medium for communication
.

Offline crickleymal

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2021, 02:40:17 pm »
I use Facebook quite a lot, but mainly to speak to friends. It's great, almost like having a live conversation which would be difficult to do via email for instance. I don't make public posts, I don't get my news from there and most of the groups I belong to are to do with hobbies and interests.
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Online Ed

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2021, 02:43:36 pm »
Social media is not much different to your mobile phone account or loyalty cards for data mining..... At least you know they are doing it

Offline ttxela2

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2021, 03:15:36 pm »


They just don't direct people towards their interests, the algorithms actively direct people to more extreme content because that gets more clicks.  This has been documented by facebook, but they won't stop it, because it is profitable. Youtube has similar issues.



I don't entirely disagree but even this is just a reflection of peoples interest in extreme content, the algorithms aren't actively out to promote racism and hate etc., if people were more likely to engage with content on flower arranging or morris dancing it would lead them there instead.

On the whole I probably agree that more controls are necessary and no doubt the big social media companies are out to get as much revenue as they can, sadly though I think the controls are needed more because we as a wider society can't be trusted to play nicely without being overseen by some sort of authority, it's more comfortable to blame an evil corporation than to admit that.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2021, 03:17:41 pm »
Social media is not much different to your mobile phone account or loyalty cards for data mining..... At least you know they are doing it

Orwell was right - he was just slightly early with the year.

Online PeteHall

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2021, 03:29:49 pm »
On the whole I probably agree that more controls are necessary

Control what, and by who?

Allowing a state (or worse a tech company), to police free speech is not something I'd advocate, EVER.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2021, 03:36:29 pm »
That's actually a very good point Pete.

Offline ttxela2

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2021, 03:52:47 pm »
On the whole I probably agree that more controls are necessary

Control what, and by who?

Allowing a state (or worse a tech company), to police free speech is not something I'd advocate, EVER.

Well free speech is a bit of a myth anyway isn't it? There is already plenty you can't say legally. What I think most people want is content that breaks these laws more quickly detected and removed, such as promoting hate crimes/terrorism etc.

Simply posting inaccurracies, in most cases probably isn't illegal in terms of free speech so if we don't want states or the tech companies policing it then who  :shrug:

Youtube actually probably is the most policed platform around mainly due to the potential to lose advertising revenue. Try posting content there that advertisers wouldn't want to be associated with and watch it sink without trace!

Online PeteHall

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2021, 04:05:03 pm »
Simply posting inaccurracies, in most cases probably isn't illegal in terms of free speech so if we don't want states or the tech companies policing it then who
If it isn't illegal, then leave it be, or post an accurate alternative and let people make up their own minds. In reality though, you've answered the 'who' below...

Quote
Youtube actually probably is the most policed platform around mainly due to the potential to lose advertising revenue. Try posting content there that advertisers wouldn't want to be associated with and watch it sink without trace!
Policed or censored? And not even by a state or tech company, but by advertisers...


Offline ttxela2

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #28 on: May 06, 2021, 04:18:53 pm »
Simply posting inaccurracies, in most cases probably isn't illegal in terms of free speech so if we don't want states or the tech companies policing it then who
If it isn't illegal, then leave it be, or post an accurate alternative and let people make up their own minds. In reality though, you've answered the 'who' below...

Quote
Youtube actually probably is the most policed platform around mainly due to the potential to lose advertising revenue. Try posting content there that advertisers wouldn't want to be associated with and watch it sink without trace!
Policed or censored? And not even by a state or tech company, but by advertisers...

Yes, I'd broadly agree with leaving it be unless it's illegal but it seems a lot of people don't.

As far as YT goes the advertisers don't really police or censor proactively, rather they react to public opinion when something causes outrage and withdraw advertising - the Logan Paul suicide forest thing being a relatively recent example, this then results in more policies and restrictions. YT came down quite hard at the start of the pandemic on people posting videos about Covid. For a while even mentioning Covid as an aside in a video could cause a lot of problems for a channel, all aimed, not so much at avoiding the spread of misinformation, rather avoiding an advertiser inadvertently being associated with the spread of misinformation.

Good or bad - don't know, but there was a time when gang disputes were being settled on YT with fimed beat-downs - you won't find that sort of content these days.

Offline AR

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #29 on: May 06, 2021, 04:39:55 pm »
I thought that FB was a data-mining operation that makes vast amounts of money by selling that data to anyone and everyone who can afford to pay for it, masquerading as:
Quote
just a medium for communication
.

That's pretty much spot on; they're using the bait of convenience to draw the masses in so they can gather reams of data to create a profile that can be sold to advertisers, political parties, shady "research" organisations, whoever. Look at the Cambridge Analytics scandal, and  FB's response to that - they were pleading ignorance of what was going on but The Register outright accused them of lying about what they knew and more significantly, what they themselves do with data. Facebook did not sue for libel, nor to the best of my knowledge have they to date taken any sort of action against El Reg.

Basically, Facebook has taken over from religion as "the opium of the masses" for a large chunk of the population, feeding them their news, their social lives, things to feel good about, things to get irate about. There is a price for convenience, and where FB are concerned it's one I'm not willing to pay - before anyone starts going on about other tracking, my browser is  set up to block as much of it as I can get away with, and the information you can get from the blocking tools is quite an eye-opener as to how much is going on behind the scenes.
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Online Ian P

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #30 on: May 06, 2021, 07:43:14 pm »
My “policy” is to allow the likes of Google and FB to “harvest” my data (with some controls in place). In return I use their services, some of which are fantastic, google maps for instance. Relevant targeted adverts and “suggestions” are not too much of a hinderance. I guess time will tell whether this policy is flawed.

Online mikem

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #31 on: May 06, 2021, 11:05:58 pm »
Facebook isn't as popular amongst today's youth, as all their parents are on it, so it's losing traction & will eventually disappear, unless it reinvents itself.

Offline droid

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #32 on: May 07, 2021, 06:04:00 am »
Kids have been dropping off Facey for years Mike.

I doubt it'll disappear so long as there's advertising revenue for sellers of reading glasses and stair lifts...
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Online mikem

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #33 on: May 07, 2021, 08:31:31 am »
Yep, but most of the alternatives have been too ephemeral to challenge FB, but something will come along to take its mantle.

Online SamT

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Re: Antisocial media?
« Reply #34 on: May 07, 2021, 09:34:18 am »
Non of my teenage kids are in the slightest bit interested in FB.  Its just not a thing for them or their peers.  Mainly Discord with a bit of Insta.

 

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