Some of you may have seen that I’ve left twitter.
It’s been a great platform for getting to know new people, share and debate ideas. But i’ve increasingly seen that it’s a platform for right wing media. It’s become the voice of Trump and Brexit and whatever we do to try and change this, it’s just not working. The voice of these extremists is being amplified on Twitter by very powerful algorithms under the control of extremely wealthy people intent on manipulating society to bend it to their will. And Twitter doesn’t seem to be doing anything to counter this. In short, I don’t think we can trust what we read on social media anymore and I for one am focussing on getting my news from places that I trust. It’s why I have become a member of the Guardian Newspaper – I don’t agree with everything they say, but I do agree that it’s honest and is an organisation that shares my values. Twitter doesn’t.
When you’re on social media you don’t know who you’re working for. In 2015 a New Scientist article reported that just 100-150 ‘likes’ on social media could predict your personality type better than your friends or family. And this is worrying. It’s worrying because as we are increasingly having choices made by algorithms, this data can be used to make invisible decisions. I’m not comfortable in supporting these algorithms with my digital practices. Whether that’s an eVisa choice (we’re going to need them more once Brexit kicks in), our home or car insurance, or for how we are manipulated to vote the way someone wants us to. I don’t want to be a positive data point that supports this system.
It’s not to say I won’t go back. I just need a break and to see what it’s like to remove myself from social media at a time when the world seems to be consumed by it’s power and the powerful people that are in control of it.
If you want to get in touch – email is an open, safe and reliable form of communication I’ve been using it for 25 years and I think for now I am in control of how the content is used… Perhaps you could email me a “like” of your own…