Maybe because Twitter is in the news, various thoughts about it have come across my email, which I do read [when I get to it], including this [Yair Rosenberg, “Elon Musk is no Aberration”] and this [Tom Nichols, “I’m Staying on Twitter”].
I’m staying off Twitter, myself, because the last time I was on Twitter, some time in 2016 I think, all it did was blow up my phone. I just don’t have the mental bandwidth for that – too analog.
But it has occurred to me that I learned the phrase “rumor control” – in the context of quashing misinformation that was making the rounds – even longer ago. Some time last century.
I can believe that the scope and speed of lies getting several times around the world before the truth ever gets its pants on has probably accelerated. I can believe the number and frequency of people telling lies, both on purpose and by accident, has grown.
I can definitely believe all that’s a problem.
But the roots of that problem seem to me, honestly, to go a lot deeper even than Twitter and its pernicious incentive structure.
Images: “The Concourse of the Birds,” [detail] Attar of Nishapur, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons; “Adam and Eve,” Hans Christiansen, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons