Facebook as the Anti-News Platform

It’s become trivial to find these examples, I suppose, but here’s some snapshots from today, around 8 a.m. Pacific Time.

Twitter

Screenshot 2015-06-26 at 8.10.39 AM

Facebook (snapshot via @eliparser, I use Facebook maybe once a month myself).

facebook

I’m curious why this happens (and maybe I should read Eli’s book?). In this case it’s not a Friendly Web issue — there are plenty of people to “like” the SCOTUS ruling. And while the population of Twitter is surely more socially involved (for good and for ill) it’s hard to see this repeated pattern as merely a demographic difference.

Yet one of these looks like a passable future, and the other looks like Neil Postman’s worst nightmare.

We’ve talked a lot about the fallacy of technodeterminism in the past here, and I’m not going to defend the reductionist version of that. But this looks like two very different futures to me, and it’s worth thinking about how the technology we promote in our classrooms shapes the future we’re launching our students into.

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3 thoughts on “Facebook as the Anti-News Platform

  1. Perhaps this just reflects the demographic shift on Facebook? 78% of Millenials favoring Marriage Equality and they’ve moved to Twitter, so the news of its passing blows of the feed. Only 45% of Boomers favor it and they own Facebook now,and so it’s not the thrilling viral news there, so much, resulting in a much lower place on the trend line.

    Perhaps?

  2. I think demographics can be a part of it. But they don’t really have an impact without design.

    For example, Facebook is “Friendly Web” which means Boomers with a negative opinion of marriage equality won’t post negative comments or share the news story. Twitter is not friendly web, which means demographics aside it will trend, from both positively oriented and negatively oriented users.

    Without friendly web, the demographics wouldn’t even come into play — hmmmm, I guess I just upended my “it’s not friendly web” statement in the post — maybe it is a part of it after all.

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