Christmas week: Tech round-up #2

Christmas tech 2.jpg

Is Facebook having an unfavourable effect of your health? Well, Facebook has a cure: more Facebook.

Remarkably, the social media giant has acknowledged that its gigantic time-wasting machine can be bad for people’s mental well-being – but believes that the cause is part of the cure and that users should attend to their online relationships with more vigour if they want to stay sane.

Simply stunning.

According to a blog written by Facebook’s own researchers ‘passively consuming information’ on the platform can leave digital socializers ‘feeling worse’. (Worse than what? Half an hour on Twitter?)

But that doesn’t mean you should abandon Facebook and try doing something with at least a semblance of meaning or substance. The post goes on to recommend employing some features the site has recently added, such as its ‘Snooze’ function, which shuts certain people, pages and so on off for a month so you can take a break from the stress/horror of it all. FFS.

Quoting the network’s overlord, Mark Zuckerberg, the blog reads: ‘We want the time people spend on Facebook to encourage meaningful social interactions.’ I’ll give him this much: he’s certainly imaginative.

***

It’s a sad and familiar tale as old as Time itself: one day, you’re being validated by none other than the President of the United States and have become the focus of the world’s attention; the next, you’re expelled from Twitter.

Jayda Fransen and Paul Golding, the two toppest dogs with far-right hate club Britain First, have had their Twitter accounts suspended for breaching the network’s new rules aimed at combating abuse.

Last month, some of the cheerful group’s anti-Muslim videos were retweeted by Donald Trump – who, astonishingly, is yet to have his own account suspended – which they celebrated as a terrific coup.

With one of their chief digital outlets knocked out, the gruesome Golding and Fransen may have to take to the real world to spread their message. Opps! Maybe not: Fransen was arrested in Belfast last week in connection with behaviour lively to stir up hatred, with Golding joining her in the slammer for some reason.

Maybe it’s time to try something new? Myspace?

But enough about that. What about Twitter’s strange, confused, sluggish response to the fetid mess? Watching the social media network react to real time global events and online hostility is as fascinating as it is infuriating. They are literally making things up as they go along.

Briana Wu, an American anti-harassment campaigner, recently slammed Twitter’s uneven approach to policing its own network, saying that you can ‘report the same behaviour one day and it’s acted on. The next day it’s not. Unless you are investing more in personnel and training staff in subjects they may not understand, this isn’t going to solve it.’

Still, maybe the new year will present a good opportunity for a fresh start?

Christmas week: Tech round-up #2

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