The Internet has become the place where people are always hitting you up for money -- all for an absolutely critical, essential, and really, really, really important cause you absolutely cannot live without. Give us money! Or your freedom is at stake from the genocidal robots!
Perhaps there has been one superhero film too many out there.
Get a grip, boys and girls.
This open letter from the Web Foundation is interesting and common in today's manic times:
The web is under threat. Join us and fight for it.
A call to arms from none of other than someone Very Important.
Here’s a message from our founder and web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee on what we need to ensure that everyone has access to a web worth having.
Oh, and the warning is very Bond-worthy:
What’s more, the fact that power is concentrated among so few companies has made it possible to weaponise the web at scale. In recent years, we’ve seen conspiracy theories trend on social media platforms, fake Twitter and Facebook accounts stoke social tensions, external actors interfere in elections, and criminals steal troves of personal data.
You mean, the Internet is making all the same mistakes as traditional journalism did when they were the gate-keepers? You don't say!
The fear-mongering serves two purposes: it is a way for people to ask for donations All In The Name of a Noble Cause, and then there the foot-in-the-door technique: put your trust in one organization to fight your battles for you. The Left were convinced they could persuade an entire planet to think the way they do through belief-shaming, and when that proved to be a pipe dream, now it is the second line of defence -- frighten people into giving up their independence to be rescued by people they just met on the Internet.
So now we are absolutely certain that we are being primed to be too afraid to believe we can actually think for ourselves. and make institutions accountable for their tyranny.
If you do not believe everything you read, and you do not mindlessly react, then the propagandist's power is non-existent. His power is in your credulity. He maligns or presents a patriarchal narrative that doesn't align with reality -- if you don't react and start asking hard questions, even if he says the very things you want to hear, he won't waste his time. He cuts his losses, and then goes marry someone with money to support him as he leaves you alone.
But when you blindly allow someone else's decrees that their fear-mongering are facts, you place yourself in a bind where you are dependent on someone else's narrative to guide you to where they want you to go. It becomes a rig that confines, and not to safe places.
The Internet was supposed to be in the background -- a neutral appliance to disseminate information -- it wasn't supposed to be questioned or even noticed. It's like wondering what nefarious purposes your toaster was created for -- is it to brown your bread -- or to make you a fascist sympathizer?
We do not think about print, radio, or television in the same way -- and perhaps we should have all along.
Because none of these media ever had journalism in mind when they were created. Not ad hoc, but somehow, journalism formed within them. The Internet's arrival didn't take journalism into consideration -- and journalism certainly never jumped into the Internet weave willingly. People in the profession still talk about digital as if it was the future, not the present.
So of the four media -- the one that should have been tailer-made for that kind of information, wasn't. It was all after the fact, and very reluctant.
That's how journalism became obsolete. When a radically new technology begins to form -- that's the time to be a part of it; so that it becomes one with it.
And the future of journalism became nonexistent, even if you have university students who still think that relic has some relevance. It doesn't.
You need to start again, but with focus.
You cannot create an alternative to journalism under the false rush of the fear-mongers who tell you all about Jabberwockys zombies who are out to get you, and eat your brains. You cannot ignore their techniques, feints, stunts, ruses, tricks, stratagems, or strategies, either. It has to be done in such a way to be built with the idea of finding lies all around you -- left, right, above, below, and the centre.
And then seeing reality beyond perception in order to find the truth.
And it has to be done without always begging for money.
It has to be profitable through its utility.
It can be done, and it will be done -- and a lot sooner than you think.