Friday, 23 December 2016


Via Kottke’s Quick Links, there’s an interesting editorial from the New York Times’ magazine exploring one major social site’s attested commitment to combating the spread of fake-news by enlisting users and fact-checking organisations—like the deputised urban-legend dispeller Snopes—is less about encouraging critical thinking among its community but rather policing the rest of the internet, already regarded by many as the same as the internet, and filtering out more and more attention-merchants that might siphon users off of their platform.
Sensational headlines are just the latest iteration of the catchpenny clickbait that the platform wants to counter but it is of course the chief propagator of the same and its “content” rather than something inward-looking, news generated by what connected and kindred users were doing (don’t get nostalgic, however, for a golden, pure age of social media that never happened) and personal details and accomplishments (updates, checking-in) that they wanted to share has become overly reliant on “pedigreed” outside sources. As the platform becomes more restrictive of dalliances down the garden-path and thus outside their sphere of influence (and revenue stream), leaving those confines become an experience perhaps something less and less comfortable, spammy and something one would regret sharing and all news becomes native. What do you think? That doesn’t sound as if it is promoting diversity of opinion and community discourse either—and perhaps worse than fake-news.