Reading Time: < 1 minute Monkeypox cases increased notably over the past week, culminating in the White House declaring a public health emergency on Thursday. Panic and anger have mounted along with it, given limited vaccine availability and continued concerns of homophobic stigma. There are stark differences between the rise of monkeypox and that of COVID-19. Monkeypox is far less […]
What Jordan Peterson got right, and what he got horribly wrong
Reading Time: 9 minutes Jordan Peterson is one of the world’s foremost dividers of opinion. And recently he quit Twitter, much to the sadness of his 2.7 million followers, after a foray into the world of sporting swimwear and beauty. Or beauty in swimwear. Or, for him, not beauty in swimwear. The New York Times once described Peterson as “the […]
Musk will bring Trump back to Twitter, calls the ban ‘foolish in the extreme’
Reading Time: 6 minutes Organisms generally need oxygen to survive and flourish. Certain organisms require more oxygen to reach their peak. In the social media ecosystem, whose habitats include the undrained swamps of the American elite, one apex predator once reigned supreme. And in the misinformation mudslinging and disinformation data-dumping, Trump’s famed Twitter rule came to an abrupt end. […]
CounterSocial isn’t the ‘new Twitter’: It’s something much better
Reading Time: 13 minutes There’s a popular myth about a frog that stays in a pot of gradually heating water until it boils to death. It’s not true. The original frog takes a bit longer, but it does hop out. And yet, our fatalist belief in the myth of the dead frog makes a lot more sense after my […]
Is social media the cigarette of the 21st century?
Reading Time: 5 minutes Like tobacco companies that made their products addictive on purpose, the drive for ever more “engagement” on social media pushes it to appeal to our worst tendencies.
The failure of Truth Social is very much on-brand for Trump
Reading Time: 2 minutes Donald Trump is no stranger to failure. Remember Trump Steaks? How about the bankruptcy of Trump’s Atlantic City casino? And who could forget Trump Airlines? So it shouldn’t be any surprise that Trump’s new social media venture—Truth Social—has also become a failure. Trump has built a brand on bluster and bravado. But his past is […]
With social media, agreement gets addictive
Reading Time: 9 minutes In the same way that religion hijacks the evolution of our minds, social media hijacks the evolution of group psychology.
Is social media ‘church’ for atheists? I didn’t think so until now
Reading Time: 4 minutes Two weeks ago I had my Facebook account shut down for child pornography. Yup, you read that right. A couple weeks ago, I was lying on my couch on a Tuesday night, relaxing with a glass of wine and watching TV at about 10:30pm. Suddenly, a strange text message came in from a family member: […]
Can regulation tackle the disinformation crisis?
Reading Time: 2 minutes Most Americans agree that social media is driving disinformation. Lies on social media can impact behavior and change the political beliefs of its user base. But there is no consensus about how government should respond. Some believe that the government should step in and regulate social media–and by extension the big tech companies–and force them […]
Mercury retrograde has nothing to do with Facebook going down
Reading Time: 4 minutes Why was Facebook down for several hours yesterday? Here’s a technical explanation from someone who would know: Later Monday, Santosh Janardhan, Facebook’s VP of infrastructure, released a statement about Facebook’s service interruption saying the company was “sorry for the inconvenience caused by today’s outage across our platforms.” Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes […]