Are people finally getting sick and tired of big tech?

Sometimes it takes a while until the penny drops, but the longer it takes, the harder it hits the ground. I was having a casual conversation about something unrelated with one of my sons when he said quite out of the blue that he’d come to the conclusion that social media was toxic. That’s quite a strong statement from him and someone of his generation. I’d been telling them that for years and had given up by this stage.

An ex-friend he’d known since his schooldays who was coming towards the end of his second prison sentence for a violent offense against a girl and was also on the sex offenders register, had got in touch with him and seemed to know everything about him and his family. That person presents a very real threat to his loved ones, especially the females.

He’d long ago unfriended him on Facebook but apparently their mutual friends hadn’t, so the criminal was remarkably up to date on my son’s life and family. Information leakage, even indirectly, gives other sometimes unsavoury individuals a lot of information about your life and therefore they become a potential threat. Everybody hates being on the receiving end of one of those I told you so conversations, so I resisted giving one out to him but he asked what should I do Dad. That’s a rare request these days and how it should be at his age.

Consigliere Pointman time. Don’t bother trying to close your Facebook account, I said, they’ve made that practically impossible on all of these social media platforms. Just stop using it. Don’t make your daily visit and above all resolve to never again type a single word of information about yourself or your family into it. Or about anything else for that matter. Just stop using it or any other social media. Totally. It’s as simple as that. He’s a good husband and a great dad, so I’ve no doubt that’s exactly what he’s doing.

At just about the same time I was scanning the financial headlines and noticed Facebook’s share price had dropped by a dramatic 25% that day and therefore knocked about $200 billion off the market value of the company. With the demise of once fearsome auditors like Arthur Andersen, I’m a bit jaundiced about many figures released by companies these days but the fall in share price had been prompted by them reporting for the first time ever a drop in daily users. This had never happened before and I watched in realtime the automatic stop loss systems kicking in and unloading the stock while the market makers in it protected themselves by cutting the ass off their buying price.

All the quarterly numbers were flat, both globally and within America, which reported a drop of over a million daily users. Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp all showed the same dire trend. There’s lots of conclusions you can draw from the numbers but the inescapable one is that for a variety reasons, people are walking away from social media, so their advertising revenue is about to plunge. Big tech Masters of the Universe? Sic transit gloria mundi.

About the same time, Twitter came in with some quarterly numbers that were also interesting. They’d missed analyst estimates on earnings, revenue and user growth. There’s not that many other targets you can miss if you’re a company reporting to investors. Despite dumping an increasingly weird Jack Dorsey as CEO, and appointing a new one, the bad news that substitution should have signalled to a canny investor was to start quietly unloading the stock before the official numbers come out. Replacing Dorsey as CEO with a censorship mad nerd called Parag Agrawal, who has said that the company is not “bound by the First Amendment”, probably hasn’t helped their situation.

Twitter, like Facebook, has by a process of oppressive censorship become a boring echo chamber for people all of whom share the same woke viewpoint. It’s no wonder that normal people have begun to look for some real action elsewhere. Where would that be?

Certainly, Gab is your first and only point of call at the moment. It’s experiencing phenomenal growth, you’ll see all viewpoints on it but you’ll also have to put on your big boy trousers to handle some of those viewpoints because it’s not an echo chamber for overly sensitive souls. It is about the only bastion of populist free speech currently on the internet and some of the interactions you’ll have there can best be described as invigorating.

The other thing I can see becoming big at the expense of big tech’s stranglehold on free speech is Trump’s own version of Twitter going by the name Truth Social. It’s just launched and the global rollout appears to be proceeding apace. Trump has handed off the project to former US Representative Devin Nunes who’s a very capable man. I can see it getting very big, very quickly, and it’ll be at the expense of increasingly mordant platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

Roger Ailes, the founding CEO of Fox News, was once asked about the phenomenal growth of the new cable news channel. “I found a niche market”, he replied, “the other half of America”. New players are finding that same niche market but in the context of social media.

I have a feeling the social media landscape is finally changing, and that’s got to be a development for the better.


Related articles by Pointman:

Facebook – hero or villain?

Twitter is fundamentally corrupt.

Click for a list of other articles.


5 Responses to “Are people finally getting sick and tired of big tech?”
  1. Margaret H Smith says:

    Here’s hoping Elon Musk does what he says he will. He has really terrified the fascists. I have never joined Facebook or Twitter but I did join Gab some time ago.
    Thanks for the great essays.


  2. philjourdan says:

    Wise advise to your son. But I have found, both from first hand experience, and now second hand experience, how smart parents are once you become one! Your son stored all those “oh Dad!” advices you gave him over the year, and has now gotten to the point where he can swallow his pride and say “you were right dad!”.

    Being a parent does that to our kids (and did with me as well). Congratulations on being a very good parent!


  3. another ian says:

    “Splodey Head Alert, Donald Trump Encouraged Elon Musk to Buy Twitter
    May 4, 2022 | Sundance | 127 Comments”


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