Facebook and journalism do not go hand-in-hand: why social media is not a forum for news.

Facebook is amateur public relations, the way Twitter is amateur press release.

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Facebook is the end-of-the-year letter you send to your friends and relatives bragging about your job promotion, your family vacation, your children’s good grades, and the like.

You put your most flattering pictures from parties as you check in at airports and restaurants. You tell people about the movies, books, and television shows you watch.

And all those annoying and meaningless quizzes, cat videos, selfies with pseudo-celebrities, and folksy posters, and as people are getting too lazy to make their own, they crib from Inspirobot.

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Facebook is PR for the little people, nothing more. You can promote your little business or little band or little blog or little book…and you can sell off your stove or CD collection to pay the bills as your little businesses literally bring in just a little bit of money with it.

It turned the lyrics to the song Pleasant Valley Sunday into the mundane life for a lot of people.

But Facebook isn’t about actual truth or reality.

It is about upholding a fantasy version of it. You can keep out the gory details of your dysfunctional life, and show the world an image of success, glamor, good times, and even badassery.

It is one-stop self-promotion the way Walmart is one-stop shopping.

And both have a lot in common, including a colour-scheme.

But Facebook is trying to look serious, and is trying to get into journalism.

And the rubes even call it a “project.”

They got Campbell Brown, a former mainstream reporter of a bygone era to head it, making it a make-work program for reporters, which is what j-schools do, and it explains why the profession imploded.

If Facebook had any intention of doing journalism, they should not defer to traditionalists.

They should not go that route because there is a reason why that route took an entire profession to its grave.

That’s like serving Jonestown Kool-Aid to people because Jim Jones served it.

Are you people that clueless?

Well, yes, they are. Facebook having a journalism project is like Hill and Knowlton starting their own all-news channel. They are not built for that purpose.

They are built for people to stick to their little tribes and not be forced to deal with anything that goes against their own worldview.

It is an advertorial scroll. People cherry-pick stories that support their own misinformed beliefs and share it with people, which is way of the Partisan Press Era.

It works great for advertising movie trailers and pseudo-celebrity gossip.

But it was never built with information verification in mind.

The data Facebook receives can never be accurate for this reason. Big Data, is, in fact, big fantasy. People put their best foot forward, and when they don’t, you can be certain there will be a GoFundMe link for people to shake down their friends for funds because their lives have hit a huge roadblock.

Or they want to fund a vanity project.

A new and proper form of journalism needs to stay away from social media entirely. They are incompatible. Facebook will take the corpse of journalism and spread the disease to its own profitable vehicle, making their fortunes the same as traditional news media.

And it’s already started.

 

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