Not Facebook's Fault (This Time)

By now you are all familiar with the dust-up over Facebook not reacting fast enough to take down the real-time video broadcast of the white supremacist killing 50 or so people in mosques In New Zealand.  

By the time Facebook did take it down, the video was copied thousands of times and reposted all over the internet. But once Google blocked searches for the video, it was pretty much out of sight of the average interneter.

It was only in the ensuing, nearly nonstop media coverage of outrage at Facebook that I was able to find numerous other sites — named in the news stories — where I could find the tape. It was not through Facebook or Google, but news stories.  And I suspect as the coverage dragged on day after day, as more folks who otherwise wouldn’t bother, tried to find and view the tape.

This is also the way that That Idiot in the White House keeps outraging the world’s populace. It is not that he tweets something (let his followers tune in to his moronic ramblings 24/7) — but the fact that the press breathlessly pushes out them out to THEIR audiences that give his stupidity massive amplification. 



You would think the press would have learned something when live televised sports stopped covering the flashers and other “fans” who rushed onto the field to disrupt the game. I suspect that once they realized they would not be on TV, the incentive to leap onto the field was greatly diminished. 

Likewise, if the press simply ignored That Idiot’s tweets, he might give it up -- or at least we could all be spared the daily humiliation of admitting: “Yes, that man is our President.”

I realize that the world of media coverage is highly competitive. Being second or third with a story is not a good look for a major news outlet. But it used to be news when the commander-in-chief would write something incredibly moronic. It no longer is. It would be news if he uttered something reasonably intelligent and thoughtful. 

There is also a tendency for the press to play follow the leader, with reporters being asked by editors “Where is our Facebook video outrage story?” when they think other outlets are getting traction from their Facebook video outrage stories. 

It would be nice to believe that if there are 1,000 media outlets, there would be 1,000 separate earnest discussions of it publishing another Facebook video outrage story that would only incite more people to try and find it. But I assure you, there are fewer and fewer of those meetings than you know. 

Especially now that the media is driven not by what people should know, but by what they will read. If it doesn’t get clicks, it doesn’t run (with rare exceptions). This gave rise to clickbaiting and the general dumbing down of press coverage in this country. That, and who can scream the loudest on cable TV.

While I am loath to forgive Facebook for anything these days, I think the mainstream media can take their share of the blame for driving those video views of the massacre.

Next story loading loading..