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Social Media Catch-22

On the one hand, I really despise the state of "social" media today, it's truly a petrie dish of hate, but there's that part of me that wants to resist just closing it all down and forgetting it exists.

I did get rid of Twitter, that site is unredeemable in any way. Even before the egotist that currently owns it took over, it was already past redemption, now it's just another white supremicist hate site. Companies are dropping advertising, people are leaving for better places, and it's getting to a point that all that will be left is a writhing mass of bigots spouting hate and liking it for each other. To anyone still actually working there, I'm sorry, but you're one of them now.

Other sites, though, have some hope for some redemption, but it really depends if they start to learn the lessons of Twitter. Hate sells for a while, but eventually it drives out everything else and that is bad for business. The latest to get me to think about this issue is Facebook, which I suppose it's not really a big surprise. While we know that hate groups abound on Facebook, they are generally hidden away unless you go looking. Pages, though, are entirely different.

The things about Facebook pages is that they're quite often used as a form of semi-viral advertising. People see the page, get intrested in the topic, and then may eventual join the more moderated and curated associated group. I joined more than a few groups through this means. I generally tended to towards feminist and trans oriented groups, but what I am finding is that I can't stay with the pages.

So, not surprisingly, any page that is topical to gender or marginalized groups is a hate magnet for just existing. All kinds of truly shitty people will float to the top of their local cesspool and have at it. It's, quite sadly, to be expected. However, pages have some control over that and more than a few are their own worst enemy in this respect.

Case in point, one of the pages I have followed (and since dropped) has posted a Bustle article about one of the creators of the TV show, Friends, regret over how she handled a trans character back in the day, specifically the misgendering. Cool, post the article, we know the bigots will roll in, but also add in a big wave of cis people talking over trans people in a hurry to wave away the past and forgive on our behalf. That's got some annoyance associated, once, but when the page does this nine times in six months, they've just chosen to expose their trans followers to more hate. 

There's no excuse there, they'd already seen the first eight times. How many more times do their trans followers need to endure the transphobia and the cis people talking over them? I dunno, the recent spate was twice in two days, so I can imagine they'll do it a few more times before winter is over.

Anyways, what this example illustrates is the problem we face, both as trans people and as women. Basically, these trolls are really there to drive women and LGBTQ+ people from the public forum. I can ignore them, I typically just block them, but I can't ignore a page that's trying to get that to happen. For that, well, time to stop following. 

So, that's the catch-22. I don't want to be pushed out of the public square, but when both your allies and the bigots are pushing, what do you do?

Well, social media is truly a shitty place. I was there, at the dawn of the commercial internet, setting up the cable and telco service providers. Had I know what it would all become, I might have cut the wires and smashed the servers. As some like to say, the Internet was a mistake.


  1. It is difficult, do we hide from it, engage with it, or try to find some other avenue?


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