Just yesterday, calling home in Italy, my mother (!) asked me what the hell is going on on social media. Now, for those who don't know her, this is the LEAST technically inclined and tech-savvy person I've ever seen. It's true that he learned to use telematic tools to talk to a family now spread across several continents, which surprised me, but if he has any interest I'd say no. Moral?
The moral is that the press is talking a lot about this thing. And if I get the same question via fediverse today, evidently the mainstream press is really talking about it A LOT. I'm not very exposed to it in the sense that I read it very little, usually in the morning, while I have breakfast (an euphemism: generally those who read the newspapers "for breakfast" mean that they read them in the toilet. How the hell can you eat while you do scroll on the phone?).
Anyway, the point is, this thing is obviously getting covered a lot. And I understand it, because nowadays the press LIVE on these social media, and if they don't understand how to "get hooked" to what's coming, they know they are dead.
But the "social media problem" is not ONE problem, and Elon Musk is just the most attractive saga to put on the front page. So let's go in order.
Elon Musk and Twitter.
I had already written that Elon Musk is an overrated asshole who has been able to invest his father's money well, coming from the slavery of Apartheid (a mine with black slaves, if I remember correctly). Who is worth little as a leader and has no idea what he does in the technological field (he BOUGHT Tesla, he didn't found it), too. So nothing he does or doesn't do with Twitter should be considered.
But he sits on a pile of money. Then it could hire "the best" to rebuild Twitter. He did it with all the companies he bought/built/”created”. He will do it'? I don't know. Will it work? It doesn't depend on the “best” or Elon.
The survival of Twitter is linked to the survival of American social networks in general, and we need to talk about this.
What happens to American social networks? They have three problems. The first is that the central banks have turned off the taps and therefore the Silicon Valley economy is collapsing due to the interruption of Venture Capital Welfare. I've already talked about it.
The second is of a technological nature: they do not innovate. They change almost nothing, add nothing, and are products that have remained the same for decades now. In the world of IT, this could not happen: why does it happen?
- because these big social networks buy competitors and embalm them
- because they have dried up the talent markets, taking on all the assumable.
This lack of innovation, however, increases its obsolescence and the audience that really moves things (teenagers and post-adolescents) is moving elsewhere.
Twitter, Facebook (all the galaxy) are now obsolete. Point.
The third problem is the most catastrophic: they are becoming more and more American, in a sense that makes anyone else want to stay there. It is an anthropological problem, but the truth is that if he had an alternative, no one would go to live in American society.
American society has completely abandoned the virtues for which it was admired and is spiraling into a kind of civil war made up of:
- A conservatism that to define horrendous is an understatement. Once upon a time if the right won in the USA, you could sleep peacefully, and prepare for the next elections. Your rights weren't in danger. If the left won, ditto. Today, whoever wins, you'll have to ask yourself what harassment you're about to face.
- A violent language, a violent psychological posture, a violent culture, a continuous exaltation of violence: American society now only praises the winner of a confrontation, better if violent, or at least described with violent language.
- A culture of humiliation by now paroxysmal: the American is obsessed with the idea of existing on condition of humiliating someone. If you can humiliate someone, cause them suffering, thus demonstrating that you have defeated them, then you exist. If you're not humiliating anyone, you don't exist.
- On the other side, an increasingly horrendous, grinding, threatening, ferocious and intersectional left. You are nobody if you are not identified in a group. If you are part of the group, you have only enemies, to whom you will have to make pay for all the wrongs suffered in the past.
- An obsession with race. In America you can no longer relate to someone if you don't talk about race. Not since the time of Nazi Germany has race been so central to public discourse, and now also to private and personal discourse. In the USA we talk about race more than in the third reich. More than during apartheid. And of course, each race has to struggle against the oppression of the others.
- A pathological obsession to say the least towards sexuality seen as performative. And since the traditional categories, in the performative sense, already have their champions (judging by porn in the USA now only well-endowed blacks fuck, the others are fat, and on the female side the pussy no longer exists, replaced by the double/triple anal), even more sexual genres are being invented, in order to create more and more different performances. Biology is very 90s.
- A religion of money that has now overcome all excesses of traditional religions. If the worship of idols or the exaltation of books or extreme deeds could be criticized, today the religion of money has surpassed everything. You thought that blowing up people for Jihad was extreme, but you will have to think again when you observe that blowing up people to earn money on OnlyFans will become a normal thing.
- An academic world that produces only for pretend, and produces bullshit just to get funding. Even at MIT subjects such as mathematics are beginning to be studied “but from the perspective of social justice”. One plus one, apparently, equals Black Lives Matter. Are we kidding?
- A real impossibility of maintaining non-commercial human relations. By now the number of singles has exceeded 52% of the population, personal friendship has been replaced by work networking, and the concept of community now indicates extremist religious groups.
Under these conditions, I am personally surprised that a civil war has not yet broken out for no reason, and I would not be surprised if it does in the future.
But the problem is that other companies, even with their problems and sometimes their extremes, are very different. I'm not saying there aren't problems elsewhere, but nowadays none of us would like to live there.
And as American social media generalists reflect and enhance these trends, it is starting to become increasingly difficult to feel at ease on these social networks. They, like for example facebook, are structured coherently with American society, and when the tools they use produce the same atmosphere, I don't know, in Italy, very few Italians feel at ease. And they are definitely not the best.
In this situation, less "ammerigani" social networks emerge. And I'm not referring to the technological question: I'm referring to the fact that the proponents of the great social generalists use American society as a paradigm for both moderation and structure.
But the problem is that American society has taken a trajectory that is embarrassing and that distances it more and more from the culture of other societies. Now even the most extreme left is embarrassing to mention the bullshit of certain "liberal" American politicians, and the same goes for the right, which only in some retarded cases still manages to call itself "theocon", not to mention "alt right" .
And also socially, it's starting to become embarrassing for anyone to love American culture, its idols, its music: there's still what's at least 15 years old, but after that there's emptiness.
Under these conditions, American social networks are having the problem of the suburbs: non-American nations show a phenomenon similar to silent quitting: people get an account because they "must", but use it as a chat system.
They are still active users, but they are not really users of a social network.
In these conditions, how is Twitter configured? Bad very bad. Let's take the three problems and apply them to Twitter.
- Central banks have turned off the faucets. In this respect, Twitter with its uncertain business model and lack of revenue, definitely does not have a good prognosis.
- Lack of innovation. Ok, ok, it was already a web interface to IRC, but twitter isn't so good at innovation either. And it doesn't depend on the number of characters or on the “edit” function: it's an old product, that's all.
- Social aberration: so far they had managed to moderate the extremes a little, even if they moderate more towards the right than towards the left. With the new course, anti-Semitism and Nazism have become normal in a few days, and the rest of the absurdity of American girls is starting to make even those who used it for work impatient.
In these conditions, Twitter does not need a "genius" in charge. It would need a miracle. Or, it will become yet another American social network frequented only by Americans.
Could he live like this? Of course. Is it desirable? Maybe (for Twitter).
Will we use it much longer?
In my opinion, no. It will appear to us more and more inhuman, violent and unbearable, until it appears indigestible.
And that's regardless of Elon, or Zuckerberg, or whatever. Social media is affected by the crazy and mentally ill trajectory that the entire American society has taken.
It is probably true that #NAFO, of which I belong, is the last attempt of rebellion by decent people against the maelstrom of fake news, ignorance and propaganda that are raging on social networks, but it is also true that, in fact, hardly anyone those I know intend to continue using Twitter “later”, and nafo.uk already exists
American social generalists will die, first of all, from the overdose of America they are suffering.