TURNING DOWN THE HEAT

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Facebook has decided to reduce the amount of political posts we get in our Facebook newsfeed. I guess it only took an insurrection to decide they might have a problem. Social media has become anti-social media. If you comment on a friend’s political post or react to it you can bet you will keep seeing similar posts.

If Facebook did not manipulate what we see I might be against this move but they do manipulate what we see and we are all seeing a lot more conflict. The amount of political discourse on Facebook is unnatural. In real life it is very unlikely you would talk politics or get nasty with people you do not know. Yet on Facebook people take liberties. I can’t tell you how many times someone I don’t know will tag me in a comment when I was speaking with a friend about politics. I don’t know the person who tagged me. I have no idea why they think I want to engage with them. Yet they tag me. You don’t walk up to someone on the street and just start calling someone a name or spouting your political affiliation yet on Facebook that is normal.

Facebook’s current method of feeding us politics is not helping. We are not coming together. We are tearing each other apart. Facebook is not a platform for nuance and to have a sophisticated conversation about politics you need nuance. Otherwise it devolves into me good, you bad. People who I once liked or thought had some intelligence repeatedly show me just how stupid they are. I am sure the same has happened to you.

The reality is we can’t be trusted to make good and responsible decisions on social media. How mnay people are really good at just scrolling by something we disagree with? Not many. How many stories have you read about people losing their job because of some political comment or post they made on Facebook? It seems the only people that can get away with saying inflammatory things in regards to politics on Facebook are some politicians. I’m not sure why we are held to a higher standard than politicians but that is another topic.

Politics did not always intrude in every- day life. Now it is everywhere. Facebook is not eliminating political posts. They are just making it so we are not drowning in it. They constantly manipulate what we see. If you do not advertise with them your posts promoting things seldom get seen. If someone posts about a loved one passing away people I never see in my newsfeed suddenly appear.

I’m all for trying to lower the temperature and going back to the illusion that none of my friends are morons. Sure ignorance is bliss but seeing so much ignorance is hell.

We will discuss this and more on Tuesday’s Davin’s Den. Let us know what you think!

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