Saturday, September 29, 2018

Is web-based social media in decline? Should privileged people keep quiet on things they don't experience?

Here’s a piece by Michael K. Spencer on Medium that is dangerous to your confidence in your future on the web, “2018 Is the End of Social Media as We Know It”.
Perhaps this piece is a bit of a strangelet. Millennials seem to be growing less interested in news content as cynicism about politics increases, and seem to be withdrawing back into their own interactive worlds. They’d rather see video (which is time consuming) than read (even on Medium).  Concepts based on interaction (like Snapchat, with instant delete) than content seem to do better now.  So the not only is the Web 1.0 world getting buried, so is 2.0.

Yet the article doesn’t talk about the existential threats to user generated content as we are used to it:  FOSTA (erosion of Section 230), EU Copyright Directive (if the effects spread beyond the EU), an increased willingness by big media platforms to kick off users and blackball them (post Charlottesville), and, to a lesser extent, loss of net neutrality.

Millennials seem so indifferent to understanding the issues of the relatively recent past.  They think if you deplatform something, the idea will go away and be forgotten.  And they are using feeling, emotion and tribal affiliation a lot more than reason.

Vox, on Friday during the Kavanaugh mess, unleashed a piece by Zack Beauchamp, “Lindsey Graham, Brett Kavanaugh, and the unleashing of white male backlash” with tagline “I’m a single white male from South Carolina and I’m told I should shut up, but I won’t shut up.”  I sent this piece to Tim Pool and his Timcast video on it appeared shortly.

“The White Male Backlash Is Upon Us”:

I was concerned about the part where Beachamp says “white men in positions of privilege don’t have experiences with hostile sexism or racism and should listen to people who have.” Later there is talk of when white men should remain quiet and learn what vulnerability because of membership in an oppressed group means.
Beauchamp also argues that there is no real danger white men will be “silenced”.  But there is an idea that people should not talk about things in which they don’t have “skin in the game”, which would undermine objectivity in a lot of our discussions and lead instead more to reparation.  This could eventually have implications for censorship or silencing of some speakers on the Web.
 Oh, yes, does Lindsey Graham's bachelorhood mean anything more? 

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