fury and fantasy

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Salon's Nicole Karlis discusses conservatives who are furious about Facebook's news-feed algorithms:

Given that Facebook is a for-profit corporation, one would think that conservatives would be arguing for the company's right as a free-market actor to do whatever they want with their product. Hypocritically, many conservatives are complaining about Facebook's algorithmic changes to its News Feed, and conspiratorially believe that they have been unfairly targeted by the social media giant.

Fox host Tucker Carlson called it "an act of ideological warfare," Ben Shapiro (editor-in-chief of the Daily Wire) says that "Facebook needs to be held to public account for its constant manipulation of what its users are seeing," and Liftable Media CEO Patrick Brown calls it "very troubling for free speech in this country:"

"It's pretty clear that this is a huge departure from Facebook's normal practices and they're making a decision to support one political side of the conversation against another."

"The power Facebook holds in the media universe is frustrating for all publications," writes Karlis, "but to claim that the social media company is targeting one political party over the other without solid evidence seems particularly partisan:"

Ironically, these conservatives' hard evidence-free claims only help sow the media landscape with misinformation -- which is precisely what Facebook is trying to keep at bay.

Jacob Bacharach discusses major media outlets hiring conservative voices, and notes that The Atlantic, home of Dubya speech writer David Frum, recently added Kevin Williamson from the National Review. "The truth," Bacharach writes, "is that these columnists are all hired as part of a project of desperate make-believe, in which it is possible to imagine that Donald Trump and our present politics really are a singular event, a historic deviation:"

In their fantasy, there remain two broadly similar and functional political parties whose respective ideologies meet in a nebulous but desirable middle, wherein reasonable men and their reasonable institutions can yet function as they ever have. It's a fairly rosy portrayal of American political history to begin with, but there was at least a sense that it was superficially, if only superficially, true. This genteel fiction permits the mandarins of respectable media to indulge the most preposterous fiction of them all, which is that the modern conservative movement in America isn't absolutely and irredeemably deranged.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on March 30, 2018 11:48 AM.

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