with any modern controversy you get loads of contrarian people going “well if it’s so bad why did nobody complain until now?” and the answer is… people *always did,* but few people ever heard
with the internet we now have these engines of viral amplification which we simply did not have before - for something to become big enough to be known to a decent number of people, it had to hit the news *first*, now it just hits the news *after* going viral
and, of course, this mechanism is a double-edged sword, the amplifiers are simultaneously useful detectors of interesting things, and… well and truly ripe for abuse
so on the one hand this content in general doesn’t have to be considered “newsworthy” by your local TV or newspaper editor… but also it doesn’t have to be checked for trustworthiness *by any living being*
I think about this kind of a lot and I think it’s probably neither entirely a good or bad thing, but something we need to understand about how we’re consuming news and content in 2018, but we seem unprepared
we’re overwhelmingly unprepared for the idea that the top result on Google might be a paid ad which is actually a scam, unprepared for the idea that that 13k retweet screenshot showing something might actually be (poorly) edited
I think we need to be teaching some scepticism, and that everyone should verify before they willingly trust random posts on the internet, as basic technological survival skills
and a lot of internet infrastructure conflates trustworthiness and security of communication, despite them being two different concepts
a scam website *can* have a green-company-name type SSL certificate; that and the lock in your browser don’t mean “you should trust this website,” it really *only* means your communications with it are private
and this feels like a microcosm of the broader issues
sorry, this got kind of rambly, but my vague point is the internet is as powerful as it is dangerous and I don’t think people quite understand that
and while the internet has turned some former background whisper networks into broadcasts, the conversations you hadn’t heard before were probably always there
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