Friday, September 07, 2018

Alex Jones and Marco Rubio Explain the Internet -- The Atlantic

Tangentially, see How That Magical Jack Dorsey–Alex Jones Photo Happened (Wired)
"The hallway performance perfectly punctuated the hearing’s meek exploration of the calamity that is contemporary life on social media. The technology executives were answering, if weakly, for helping support websites like Infowars and crusaders like Jones. And if not Jones himself, then others who hide their deception more adeptly. The spat was a microcosm of the internet itself: A place where widespread adoption of platforms that give anyone unfettered access to almost everyone else, a place that gives people the sense that they deserve an audience, with anyone, on any topic, all the time.
Social media’s impact on global democracy has made it seem like the technology, once good, as Rubio observed, can also be used for harm. But maybe the wickedness was there even before the good. The internet’s sin isn’t giving one or another person a mouthpiece with which to reach an audience with lies. It’s giving everyone the impression that they are owed an audience with anyone, with everyone else, at any time, or all the time. A lot of people might be able to agree that Alex Jones shouldn’t be talking to anyone, much at all. But few are ready to cop to a more difficult truth: People just aren’t meant to talk to one another this much in the first place."
Alex Jones and Marco Rubio Explain the Internet -- The Atlantic

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