[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Thursday, 2016-11-17

Facebook is not news

Filed under: Family,Friends,Journalism,Society — bblackmoor @ 11:09

I will no longer be getting my news from Facebook. Too much of it is fabricated, and what little isn’t has been slanted and overloaded with emotion until any objective facts have been obfuscated beyond recognition. If you share a meme about this or that protest causing the death of someone, or a story about this or that person being assaulted or beaten by people because of their politics, or even the old-fashioned hoaxes like free cruises from Disney, plots to poison our food, or serial killers leaving diseased needles in vending machines, I am going to hide that post, and if you do it often enough, I will quietly “unfollow” you. (If/when this process can be automated, I will happily install an add-on that does it for me. Perhaps based on a list of fake new sites like this one.)

I have had enough of angry accusations and tragic claims made without even a token effort at verification, and that exist only to sell advertising or elicit an emotional response. I have had enough of political propaganda masquerading as news. Too many of these stories have been completely unsubstantiated, and a claim made without verification cannot be treated as true. Facts matter to me, even if they don’t matter to anyone else.

Share with me how your day went. What sort of things have happened to you today? Not a friend of a neighbour of a colleague — you. How was work? How’s your health? What movies have you seen that you liked? Books that you’ve read that you liked? (Hint: if you haven’t seen it or read it, your opinion about it means nothing. And frankly I would much rather hear about something you liked than something you hated.) Hell, I would even prefer that you share photos of your children — as repulsive as most children are, I would rather see photos of your actual child’s actual accomplishments rather than yet another photo of some anonymous child who may want “likes” for whatever reason — but who probably had nothing to do with their photo being shared.

Facebook is not a source of news. The “news” on Facebook is rumour at the best of times, and malicious lies the rest of the time. No more. Not for me.

The safest assumption on Facebook that any “news” you see is false. In my opinion, it’s no longer even worth doing the few minutes of research it takes to invalidate them: I’m more likely to find gold coins in Vixen’s litter box. If I want news, I will go to a respected mainstream news site that employs actual journalists.

P.S. So what is “real news”? My rule of thumb is that real news has a middle initial “B”: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, PBS. The exception is CNN, which takes the place of CBN, which is definitely not real news. (There’s always an exception.)

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