Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sensational News

We have come to a point in time in history of human evolution where we almost consume all our news from social media (62% of U.S adults use Facebook as their primary source of information, and I am pretty sure the story is similar elsewhere).

Now, things that get shared and clicked on Facebook, generally don't tend to be of the garden variety. These are necessarily sensational, controversial or down right false. To add to it, Facebook fired it's human editors that curated news and used news bots to decide the "Trending topics" that we got to consume. This led to a false but sensational news to trend on Facebook for a long while sometime ago. While I am sure over a period of time, these bots will be intelligent enough to sniff out the false and bury, sensationalism shall remain.

When I was young, I subscribed to the fact that we were being manipulated by big giant corporations with their hidden agendas. Now as I am getting older, I have realized that we are just getting fed what we desire. If you click on "5 ways to lose 10 pounds by next Friday" that's what you are going to get more of. There may not be any hidden agendas. After all, everyone has a profit motive. In the big bad world of the internet, our clicks are the currency. What we click is what we get more of!


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