CSotD: Picking at Loose Threads

We’ll let Joy of Tech introduce today’s topic, which is about a new app that millions of people have signed up for and that nobody likes.

I can be neutral about Threads for the moment, since I’m a desktop guy and it’s only available for telephone people, and preferably those with Instagram accounts, which lets me off twice, but so far what I’ve heard is complaints because it shows you what its algorithms say you should see rather than what you want to see.

Which is odd, given the amount of data harvesting Joy of Tech cites them for. You’d think they’d at least know that what you want to see is what your friends have posted.

Jennifer Rubin points out that you can mute the people you don’t want to hear from, but I’ve already done that on Twitter, so I’m not sure how Threads is an improvement. Many of the complaints I see about Twitter could be solved by blocking fools and fascists.

At least it’s worked for me.

Apparently, though, Threads has a more dynamic system for detecting disinformation and hate-mongering, which, as Lisa Benson (Counterpoint) notes has rightwing knickers in a knot, appalled by the idea of a place people can come and have rational, fact-based conversations, given that lies about the Biden family have already been taken down.

They’re weeping over their First Amendment rights, another example of people who don’t understand that freedom of the press belongs to the people who own one.

And they’ve still got Twitter and Truth, after all.

Which ties into the recent injunction against the Biden administration contacting social media, which was presented as a remedy for their censorship of conservative views.

As Rob Rogers notes, it’s something of a coincidence that attempting to contain disinformation seems to become attempting to contain Republican talking points.

I don’t think, “Perhaps if you lied less” is a practical response to the controversy. One potential answer might be to point out the similar pushback against RFK Jr’s flowing font of nonsense, except that, rather then link him to his progressive family, the rightwing is embracing him as one of their own.

I suppose if Bernie or AOC would post some hateful lies, we could demonstrate a balance, but the worst of their statements seem to be a case of strained logic and partisan overreaching, which is exactly what people should be debating on social media (and elsewhere).

But I digress. Well, to some extent.

As Dr. MacLeod points out, either we’re not thinking logically or there’s no escape, which may be a distinction without a difference.

Tim Miller points out the personal side of people trying to escape Emo without simply blocking him. But while Miller pointed this out on Twitter, he was already saying it on Threads, so if there is an element of going over to the Other Dark Side, he’s there.

Which leads to our

Juxtaposition of the Day

(David Simonds)

(Dave Granlund)

People are enjoying the confrontation between two obnoxious billionaires. Simonds suggests mutual destruction within the social media world, which goes along with the general sense that Twitter is self-destructing while Threads isn’t really the answer.

My opinion being that listening to the “general sense” sparks self-fulfilling prophecies, and that our fascinations have more to do with gossip and peer pressure than with actual analysis of anything.

“Gossip and peer pressure” sounds like middle school, but using more grown-up language wouldn’t really change things.

One day we can’t live without teramisu and a month later we’re ecstatic over creme brulee. Maybe we should bring back Carrie Bradshaw to let us know whether we prefer Twitter or Threads.

Except they did bring back Carrie Bradshaw and nobody seemed to give a damn anymore. Sic transit, and the general sense moves on.

Granlund may be closer, more in line with Tim Miller’s observation that this is mostly about how much people have come to despise Elon Musk, but also in line with Dr. MacLeod’s a pox-on-both-your-houses analysis.

The metaphorical competition aside, I think a lot of people are looking forward to the actual cage match, though I’m a wet blanket in suspecting it will turn out like Al Capone’s vault, all hype and no content.

Zuckerberg is giving away a lot of weight, but apparently works out in martial arts, so we could hope for something like Bully Beatdown, a bare-fisted MMA contest with, ideally, a nice dose of humiliation for both contestants.

But my guess is that, by the time they set up their ground rules, it will be more like Celebrity Boxing, in which they put pillows on their fists and more pillows around their heads and stop the match as soon as somebody begins to tuck down and cower.

Ruben Bolling may be closer to the truth, suggesting that there will be more opportunities for schadenfreude in the lawsuits and business failures than within the octagon.

But we can, as always, count on First Dog on the Moon to put the whole thing into its proper perspective, and I’m 100% behind that final panel.

Yet there is still good in the world

Take a good look at those cheerful pictures of Mickey and Minnie and Tom and Jerry, which once decorated the walls of a refugee processing center in Kent, England.

They were intended to offer some comfort and calming to lone children coming off the boats at the end of a long, often traumatic attempt to escape poverty and violence.

They’re not there anymore, however, because Britain’s Minister of Stupid Cruelty — who also holds the position of Immigration Minister — ordered them painted over, because he “wanted it to be made clear the centre was a ‘law enforcement environment’ and ‘not a welcome centre.'”

The order has horrified a large segment of the British public, who, however they feel about migrants, were okay with helping to make the process easier on small children, and the Tory minister’s order has drawn a harsh rebuke from Labor opposition.

It particularly horrified Guy Venables, a cartoonist whose work often appears here.

So Venables asked — on Twitter, I might add — if other artists wanted to join him in going up to Kent and repainting the walls with welcoming images for kids.

He was inundated with volunteers, not only other artists but people willing to bring food to feed the artists as they work.

Good man. Good friends.

Life’s tough enough without someone deliberately making it worse.

It’s good to see someone deliberately making it better.

4 thoughts on “CSotD: Picking at Loose Threads

  1. Posting a link to Twitter now only works if we have a user account, so your mention of Guy Venables work takes us to the Twitter Iron Curtain. As another media maven said yesterday, “…it makes more sense for those of us with Twitter accounts to reach out to the content creator on the site to ask if we can have permission to repost their work in the free world…”

  2. “I can be neutral about Threads for the moment, since I’m a desktop guy and it’s only available for telephone people, and preferably those with Instagram accounts, which lets me off twice,”

    (suggestion for accessing a certain “Threads” computer program (and certain other computer programs) on desktop computers: a certain BlueStacks computer program at this World Wide Web address: https://www.bluestacks.com/ )

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