Engagement-baiting turns you into a commodity

Why I hate (most) social media

Published on

filed under "Web & Internet"

by WFL

I’ve been around on the interwebs for a long time. While I wasn’t online for the days of dial-in BBSes, I spent a good chunk of time in IRC and on various message boards, and even had a 5-digit slashdot ID. I had my first online girlfriend via the chat in an online multiplayer bumper cars game.

Now, however, we have social media. A dumpster-fueled conflagration so dense with lung & vision choking toxic fumes that America thought electing Donald Trump was a good idea.

Social media may have had some early success as a good thing, but like all good things, it got corrupted from multiple sources.

Businesses farm for engagement. Influencers peddle wares they don’t even use or care about for money. Spammers and scammers do everything they can to capture your data. Trolls harass you for the lulz.

The worst aspect of social media, however, is how it is designed to keep you scrolling, engaging, and reacting.. All thanks to poorly designed engagement algorithms and data farming.

As I write this I’m sitting here wearing my a bisexual pride bracelet (it is pride month, of course) with my nails painted my favorite navy blue & a dark magenta (although they are pretty chipped up). My 5.11 Tactical EDC bag has my usual pride morale patch, bi pride pin, and a new pride flag pin.. And my Sub-MOA Spoonie pin.

You see, that second pin is going to be really relevant here, even though it is just a small part of the entire ensemble.

As someone who owns firearms and goes target shooting on a relatively regular basis (it’s too fucking hot right now, though, which sucks - I’ve got some Eley Tenex & Match ammo I wanna test at 400 yards), that is a particularly weighted demographic for marketing.

While I do get a lot of pride-related ads during pride month (although fuck you Pride Palace - your pride flags are NOT FREE if you have to pay $30 shipping for 2 cheap-ass flags), any time I do any ammo shopping or research I’m immediately inundated with some of the most rage-inducing hate-content I have ever seen.

I’m not just talking about ads; While I do get a lot of ads for shitty companies (AR500 plate carriers have some really fucked up marketing), I also get fed a lot of “recommended content”.

Facebook is the worst at this. I can’t tell you how much anti-trans, anti-leftist, ablelist bullshit I see as recommended content.. All because I like target shooting.

You see, Facebook knows that the largest percentage of gun owners are also bigots who like bigoted things, so they decided that my far-left, bisexual persona isn’t as big a part of me as the gun-owner demographic is.. So therefore, I must be a right-wing bigot.

What drives me even more nuts is how bad Facebook is at content moderation.

I myself have gotten multiple strikes for “threatening behavior”; obvious jokes about my chronic pain, or my hate for literal fucking capital-N Nazis (I won’t shoot one, but I’ll gladly make liberal use of my cane if I see a Nazi nazi-ing it up.. We fought a war about this, folks) is apparently bad.

Of course, the multiple calls for the extermination of trans & gay folks that Facebook recommends to me as content I might be interested in?

Nah, that shit is cool, apparently.

I actually left FB for a while, but unfortunately it’s the only place I can go to stay in touch with a number of folks, including my fellow spoonies.

Oh, and Twitter?

I literally deleted my 3-digit handle account that I’ve had since the beginning.. And Twitter was no haven before Musk took it over and let the Nazis air out their infected crotch-sweat.

If you want to interact with me on social, just take a look at the Bluesky link in the footer.