It’s often pointed out that Twitter presents a nightmarish vista of abuse, harm and arbitrary enforcement, a place where trolls and Nazis laughingly exploit the management’s ideological vanity and need to work the numbers. Likewise, Facebook has become a river of lies, its users trapped in a hellish replica of their real-world social network that’s designed to make them miserable, vulnerable and easy prey for any fakery or hatred that makes Mark Zuckerberg richer. Clifford Stoll sums up the situation in a timely piece that seems right on the money.
Every voice can be heard cheaply and instantly. The result? Every voice is heard. The cacophany more closely resembles citizens band radio, complete with handles, harrasment, and anonymous threats. When most everyone shouts, few listen
Now check the date on that post! It’s interesting to see the two things that Stoll got right in his elitist and comically wrong screed about the internet — broken politics and relentless harassment and abuse — and the one thing he got more wrong than seems imaginable: that it won’t amount to anything.