I finally understand Facebook! It's essentially a high school popularity contest, where groups of friends can hang out and tell each other things they already know.
Facebook, and other similar social media technologies, now operate in the zone of diminishing returns, wherein the original animating genius of the technology declines in direct proportion to the frequency of its use. The popularity of such communication platforms dilutes the content exponentially, so that a moron's message can reach millions and millions of people instantly, sounding as if it's the voice of God.
A strong argument for old-fashioned print media-that it's not only not dead but is poised for renaissance-is made by Andrew Marantz in his New Yorker article on the alt-right and those who use alt-right positions to successfully infect our body politic ("Trolls for Trump", October 31, 2016). Lies, distortion, noise, nonsense, rumors that would make no sense to high school seniors become the truth to an excitable audience that can't, or doesn't want to, separate fact from fiction.
It's now pretty much taken for granted that the political misuse of Facebook-and other social media-was at least partially responsible for the civil chaos North Africa now suffers. After reading Mr. Marantz's article I wonder if this country is on the verge of a similar fate?