During an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams asserted that social media helps to “dumb the entire world down.”
This most tepid of hot takes comes from Evan Williams, co-founder of the foundering social media network through which our boisterous commander-in-chief candidly communicates with his electorate.
You might remember Williams as the man who apologized for the election of billionaire Donald Trump as President of the United States. Now, he has changed his tune. As reported by The Guardian, Williams said:
The much bigger issue is not Donald Trump using Twitter that got him elected, even if he says so; it is the quality of the information we consume that is reinforcing dangerous beliefs and isolating people and limiting people’s open-mindedness and respect for truth.
Williams criticized the “media ecosystem that is supported and thrives on attention,” calling Trump a “symptom” of something that he believes is “making us dumber and not smarter.” He lambasted an “ad-driven media that churns stuff out on a minute-by-minute basis,” of which he incidentally does not believe Twitter is the worst example. Rather, the problem is the results-driven metric by which “their only measure is whether or not someone clicks on it.”
Evan Williams has just managed to describe all media, in all forms, throughout the entirety of recorded history. These salient points were driven home by the sort of earth-shattering conclusion that only a social media mogul could make:
Therefore quoting Trump’s tweets, or quoting the latest stupidest thing that any political candidate or anyone else says, is an effective way to exploit people’s basest instincts. And that is dumbing the entire world down.
Trump being used as clickbait by the media? Stop the presses!
Williams further observed that “access to information alone doesn’t make us smarter,” calling the epiphany one of his “big learnings over the last couple of decades.”
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