Open a corporate media website on any given day and you will find someone, somewhere blaming social media for something. No claim is too absurd.
Last week, journalist Sean Williams, who writes for the New Yorker, New Republic and Wired, tweeted us in a state of high anxiety:
I just want you to know you’re ruining the national dialogue and pushing more people towards right wing populism. Really.
Quite a claim for a project that began in Southampton’s Giddy Bridge public house over a pint and a packet of cheese and onion. We replied:
Two guys with no resources, relying solely on donations, critiquing global, multi-billion-dollar media corporations? That’s crazy. All our support is on the left – people like John Pilger, Noam Chomsky and Jonathan Cook, who reject that idea completely.
Beyond even ruining ‘the national dialogue’, social media are, of course, blamed for a tsunami of ‘fake news’ undermining democracy at every level. The irony of the fake news claim is that the corporate media’s refusal to analyse, or even mention, its own record of spreading fake news is a prime example of how it functions as a system, not merely of deception, but of imposed insanity.
Consider the work of Andrew Rawnsley of the Observer, garlanded with British Press Awards Young Journalist of the Year (1987); What The Papers Say Columnist of the Year (2000); Channel 4 Political Awards Book of the Year (2001); Channel 4 Political Awards Journalist of the Year (2003);…