Fake News was crowned as the word of the year in 2017. In an era where we need quality journalism, social media sites are bent on destroying it. In a recent interview with Linux Journal’s first publisher, Robert Young, Linus Torvalds — Creator of Linux — revealed the true nature of social media.
Linus pulled no punches as he brandished social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google as the enabler of bad behavior. Linus’ comments on the ‘liking and sharing’ model on Facebook hold weight as it degrades the quality of what we consume online.
According to Linus, Facebook’s clickbait content is geared to serve even the lowest common denominator. This type of content is designed only to provoke an emotional response, often of anger and outrage.
Yet, Linus himself is famous for his ‘not-so-subtle’ behavior. One of his most infamous brawls was with chip maker Nvidia. Linus lashed out at the company for not supporting GPU driver updates on Linux OS.
Needless to say, however, Linus’ unconventional social behavior is less motivated by fake news on Facebook and more of an innate trait. However, he even took a month-long break in September 2018 to introspect after lashing out at Linux developers.
The Crucial Difference Between Privacy And Anonymity
Linus argues that social media websites keep anonymity and privacy hand in hand, and they’re not the same thing.
Linus went on to discuss the differences between anonymity and privacy. Anonymity for a witness is crucial, but for someone spewing hate speech on Facebook, anonymity is the enabler, says Linus.
In the interview, Linus highlighted several key aspects responsible for making social media a toxic place. Such toxicity results in people developing anti-social behavior. Numerous similar examples of social media hate spilling into the real world have surfaced within the past year.
We, as people, need to realize that most hate speech is targeted. Whenever any political event is on the horizon, the frequency of divisive posts increases on social media.
Needless to say, even the upcoming general election in India, could suffer from the above mentioned ‘Facebook Disease’.