Facebook is a symptom. The internet is the disease. Facebook discovered a market. If Facebook disappeared tomorrow, something else would take its place and it would immediately become as corrupt as Facebook is now. The real problem is that the information funnel has been turned upside down, so that everyone can communicate with everyone, and everyone thinks that’s so democratic.

The more accurate term for it is chaos and anarchy. Facebook doesn’t police itself because it can’t police itself for the same reason that the NSA’s eavesdropping activities are so laughable. There is too much information in the pipeline for anyone to be able to screen it effectively. The computers can only do so much before human beings have to step in and decide what something really means.

Before you suggest an exodus from Facebook, you might want to consider the fact that Facebook is a value-free playing field. They don’t care about your philosophy. All they care about is the revenue that you are producing. What happens on Facebook is reflective of what’s going on in our society. We have the ability to saturate Facebook with our trolls, our points of view, our advertising. If the fascists are winning that battle, we need to pay attention to that and UP OUR GAME instead of fleeing from the battlefield.

The freedom of information that the internet gave us has spawned a toxic environment in which information overload prevents us from actually forming informed opinions because we don’t have the ability to vet all the information that we are absorbing. We can’t even absorb all the information coming at us from Medium, let alone the entire internet.

I am constantly coming across statements here on Medium, and everywhere else on the internet, including Wikipedia, that I know to be untrue based on my own experience, but then I have to stop and backtrack my own knowledge base to determine where my opinions on those matters originated from.

This has to do with the velocity of the information exchange.It isn’t just the volume of information but the speed with which the information comes to our attention. The constant interruptions as one story replaces another in the focus of concentration results in the inability to process anything thoroughly.

Human being exposed to this much stimulation typically shut down or at least restrict the amount of information they are consuming. Remember: no organism can live in its own waste productions and the waste products of the information age is excess information.

Before you begin screening anything, however, you also have to make some decisions about the values your screening will be based on. Who makes those decisions? How will they — or more accurately — how can they be made?

It grieves me to remind you that once you begin censoring anything, you have started the inevitable slide into totalitarianism. Democracy requires the free exchange of ideas, not the restriction of information.

By the way, the outlet you suggested turning to, Telegram Messenger, has been accused of harboring criminal elements and terrorists data centers and in fact is considered by some to be part of the dark web. I don’t know if any of these things are true or not. The point is that I don’t know….and neither do you. Neither does anyone else.

Alan is a poet, journalist, short story writer, editor, website developer, and political activist. He is the executive editor of BindleSnitch.com.

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