Social media. Just say no.

I had a Facebook account.  I used it for researching for my undergrad degree: war crimes, arms industry, connections between religious cults and weapons (that is scary); end-timers; the plethora of arms in the USA and its consequences; mass shootings; historical political revolutions; why people believe what they do.  History, psychology, just war theory, religious extremism, politics.  But when I got critical of the NRA and arms industry and using facts to counter their arguments in their own groups, my Facebook account got blocked.  Weird.

I created another Facebook account for my postgrad study.  Similar subject areas, but used it in particular for eco stuff.  Having noticed some trends in how organised trolling is done, I started outing some trollers, in particular in Greta Thunberg’s feed.  There are scores of them posting the same memes and every account has one picture, one post on the wall, a home town and a university.  They may have many friends, all with the same structure.  Anyway, after a couple of days of showing these accounts were all interlinked and behaving in the same way … my Facebook account was suddenly deleted.  No reason given.

I created another Facebook account for personal use.  Real me, real photos, real location and history.  Again I noticed the trends in trolling and posting.  For example, have a look at Boris Johnson’s feed and watch for a few days.  As soon as he posts anything, there is an instant, fast and steady trickle of near-identical posts using the same memes over and over.  These are obviously created by a script.  But it gives an effective impression of genuine support and others are drawn in.  Any programmer or script kiddie should be able to see how the algorithm works.  And just time the rate of comments and likes – see how there is a linear degradation of the rate as would be expected as the comments increase in number.  And with the next post it starts again.  Almost all the posts and likes on his feed are created by one or more bots.

Anyway, I just posted something expressing my view on a social issue on a local group.  The abuse started within seconds.  The respondents were really nasty, and each had fakes bits to their profile so they could not be identified.  Cowards.  I’ve had that before but this was fast, nasty and furious.  And in a page that has been very quiet for months and my post was on-topic.  Very odd.

I’ve had enough of Facebook.  I think it serves no good but enables an awful lot of bad.  And trying to use it for good is not appreciated by Facebook.  Some of what goes on is vicious, some dangerous, much deceiving and some downright sinister.  It does not make me happy.  I won’t be back there.  I’ve seen enough.

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