A Triumph of Misinformation and The Internet

Last year brought the realization that the network, as it was built in the last decade, has reached such a boiling point that returns have b...

Last year brought the realization that the network, as it was built in the last decade, has reached such a boiling point that returns have begun to decline in some areas. Not in the economic, but in the fundamental pillar on which the web was built: the content.

In recent years we had seen the Internet systematically failed to waves of cyber attacks against governments or corporations (famous cases of Sony or the intervention of Russia in the last US elections ). The network was not built with security in mind, and it is disheartening to hear renowned experts claim that we do not know what to do with the growing insecurity of the network. The other great failure that was brewing since the Arab Spring in 2011 was the rise of radicalism and the use of the network against everything that embodies the system, with Daesh leading the way using the platforms created by the West to recruit believers to help wreck it. And here the failure has not only been great but has ended up threatening the establishment itself.

 If anything, have demonstrated campaigns Brexit and Donald Trump in 2016 has been that in the era of so - called post-truth (one twist to the propaganda of life). The greatest instrument of knowledge created by the Humanity has become a tool at the service of the most shameless ignorance and misinformation. And has done so without asking permission or forgiveness, using to its benefit all the weapons that Internet giants have created in the last decade.

For years, the so - called bubble filter is a reality that we all experience to great Internet services (from Google to Amazon to Facebook or Twitter) because they use algorithms to "help" to consume content or products of our interest customizing our Results. It is an instrument that is supposed to benefit us but ultimately serves to reinforce beliefs or ideas or see us exposed to a reductionist version of reality. Elements of which the radicalism is fed in a systematic way.

If giants like Google, Facebook or Twitter are victims of the abuse of a few, in their hand and in their obligation is to stop their efforts.
And that is the problem. The "dominant forms of social organization" of which we spoke of Cluetrain Manifesto in 1999 also apply -oh, surprise or radical extremist groups, sometimes by a large force. We have had to make it to the 21st century for a handful of undocumented immigrants to make vaccines a public danger based on conspiracy theories of an asylum. Or that there are traditionally democratic countries that make difficult-to-understand decisions influenced by all kinds of scams reinforced - or directly disseminated - through social networks. Just compare Obama's campaign in 2008 and Trump's in 2016 to realize that we are going in the opposite direction to that set by the most elemental rules of logic.

The realistic techno manifesto already anticipated this in '98 began stating that technologies are not neutral: if we create a network of universal access through open and free protocols can not expect that in this extraordinary landscape does not grow weeds. He went on to say that the Internet is revolutionary, but not utopian: "as it grows, it will resemble society as a whole."

The enlightened, cosmopolitan, somewhat idealistic and, to deny it - absolutely naive, we thought that the Internet was an instrument that automatically improved society by putting enormous amounts of knowledge and data within reach of all. We are wrong, not because this contribution is not valid, but because societies are the ones who decide if they improve and use those instruments for their benefit or their detriment.

Probably these facts say more negative things of the nations that have perpetrated them than of the technologies that have used for it. But the question persists: if giants like Google, Facebook or Twitter are victims of the abuse of a few, in their hand and in their obligation is to stop their efforts. That, or risk that the whole speech of progress embodied in the Silicon Valley is simply unmasked as a supreme exercise of business hypocrisy.


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