Social media as television 2.0?

With the creation of the so-called Disinformation Governance Board in the United States, let us recall how social networks betrayed their purpose.

They tried to pry open your eyes and set them back to looking at the old faces that formerly monopolised your television screen, rather than letting you select your own information sources. Those other information sources are to be buried, suppressed, cancelled.

The very appeal of social media from day one was that it contained user-generated content, not approved by the establishment. That very feature, the central appeal of social media, is now berated as some sort of bug. It is "disinformation", now sidelined by the platforms, in deference to the content produced for television networks, as if all of Twitter is meant to be a substitute for the television screen.

The spread of “disinformation”, first and foremost conspiracy theories, was presented as an extraordinary evil that descended upon us like a thunderbolt from a clear blue sky, in 2016 and then during the pandemic when it arguably had the potential to do harm.

In reality, nonsense conspiracy theories were abundant on the internet ever since it began, and possibly even worse prior to 2016, when it only began to upset the wrong people, because it might have slightly affected the results of a US presidential election. They had no care for people believing false realities until it affected their power in some way.

Journalists and politicians have spectacularly managed to fool many users into believing that the very things they were looking for on the internet - those alternative views and products that grew after people became hostile to the mainstream - are actually some new inconvenience to the users. According to them, we must now suppose, the internet was actually just meant to be television 2.0, with the same ugly talking heads of authority speaking via it, telling us what opinions are acceptable. Why ever did we need to listen to normal or random people on the internet, when we could focus solely on the special people with crumpled foreheads and lucrative sponsors to tell us what to think?

Of course, in reality, people fled those rich journalists and talking heads to the internet because they were sick of them, and wanted rid of the mainstream media. They wandered the desert, searching for an oasis where people spoke their mind rather than a paid agenda.

Unfortunately, the journalists followed the audiences that had fled them, until they finally appeared on social networks and began to receive blue tick marks and favourable treatment. They pursued their desire to recapture their captive audience, to firmly strap the television sets back onto the audience’s heads and prevent them from escaping again like runaway beasts.

In short, once upon a time, realising what a parasite and a villain the modern “journalist” was, people fled to the internet. The mocking forms of “alternative media” and lackadaisical memes were born. People created their own news and conspiracy theories, and derided the establishment. However, like monsters, the mainstream media followed, transforming social media into but another television screen, and now they have you back in their clutches again.