Tuesday, August 20, 2013

If I Go There Will be Trouble and if I Stay It Will be Double

Paul Mason:

Which do I leave first: Facebook or Twitter? I've been mulling that question for about a year now, but it always seemed theoretical. On top of that, it would have been a no-brainer. Twitter is essential for work, while Facebook – increasingly burdened by adverts, security issues and intellectual property disputes – is not. But I am now watching Twitter become morally depopulated and seriously considering how long I'll be on there.

...The solution has to be radical and collective, for the stakes are high. Twitter is the first mass, global conversation, and if it becomes fatally polluted by frat-boy perversity and the verbal spew of sociopaths it will take some time to rebuild elsewhere. Policing it comprehensively is impossible.

I laughed until I nearly choked, I did. Not just at the absurd spectacle of a supposed adult going all garden-of-Gethsemane over such a pathetic trifle, though that is indeed funny. No, my favorite part is that second paragraph — he still holds fast to his utopian vision of the potential for "the first mass, global conversation" even as he's frantically backpedalling in horror upon hearing just what it is the global masses have to say. Ain't that always the way? The starry-eyed morons who wax eloquent about an ideal form of humanity are the same ones who want nothing to do with the way most people actually live. Mass communication would be great if only the masses could somehow be excluded from it. We had to censor the conversation in order to save it.