4 Reasons Cancel Culture Doesn't Work [Content Made Simple]

Issue #184: See YouTube how conspiracy theorists do, and protect your data from Google's wandering eyes.



Cancel culture bears the fruit of vengeance more than it bears the fruit of justice. Why?



This is a blog post I wrote yesterday, and it is actually part of the first draft of my book. I have an entire chapter on cancel culture in the book, and this post is a bit of a preview of what that looks like. I think it is good for powerful people to be held accountable by those who are not in positions of power, but more often than not, cancel culture isn’t about justice at all.


The bar for what is “harmful” on the internet is lower than it has ever been. The desire to pursue justice is as high as it has been in a generation. This deadly combination has created a culture in which it is acceptable for mobs of people to use the social internet to dismantle the lives of anyone believed to have harmed someone else, even when “harm” is defined as loosely as “disagreement.” No matter how offended we are by someone’s actions on the internet, we must not believe the lie that “We must dismantle the lives of harmful people.”


Social Qs #016: Tips for Surviving Social Media the Rest of 2020

What a wild ride this year has been so far. It is only going to get more wild as we hopefully approach a coronavirus vaccine and as the election draws ever nearer. This week on the podcast, we talk about some ways to survive the rest of the year on social media.


Link #1: QAnon Has Infiltrated Facebook More Than Anyone Realized

QAnon is so much more widespread and widely followed than I (or many others) realized. The movement is making its home on Facebook, currently, after living in some more shady corners of the internet for years.

An internal investigation by Facebook has uncovered thousands of groups and pages, with millions of members and followers, that support the QAnon conspiracy theory, according to internal company documents reviewed by NBC News.

The investigation’s preliminary results, which were provided to NBC News by a Facebook employee, shed new light on the scope of activity and content from the QAnon community on Facebook, a scale previously undisclosed by Facebook and unreported by the news media, because most of the groups are private.

The top 10 groups identified in the investigation collectively contain more than 1 million members, with totals from more top groups and pages pushing the number of members and followers past 3 million. It is not clear how much overlap there is among the groups.

Link #2: How to Change Your Advertiser Settings in Google

If you’ve paid attention to this newsletter or my other writing for any amount of time, protecting my personal data online is important to me. And it’s important to me to help anyone else protect themselves against predatory data policies. This article can help you block Google out of having too much of your data.

If you’ve ever seen an ad and thought “Why the heck am I seeing this?” you’re not alone. Google personalizes the ads you see based on your Google account’s activity — and sometimes, that can lead to weird results.

Fortunately, if you want to see ads that are more relevant to you, you can change what Google thinks it knows about you. On the flip side, if you’d rather Google not use your browsing data to target ads at all, you can easily do that, too.

Link #3: A Way to See YouTube as Others Do

This isn’t an article, so I don’t have a quote to share with you. But this website, Their.Tube, is a way for you to see YouTube how people with different ideologies see YouTube. I actually plan to write on this soon (probably next week). Algorithms cause conservatives to see different YouTube content than liberals. Preppers see a certain kind of content. Climate change deniers see a certain kind of content. I think it’s helpful for us to see how others see the internet so that we can have empathy.


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