The title of her column was Undoing Facebook’s damage. Anyone who has read any of my sixteen previous posts about Facebook should be aware that I am not a fan. However, I must applaud Mark Zukerberg and his wife on their pledge to give away $45 billion dollars. Nevertheless, I also applaud Anne Applebaum for her column. Here is her advice “…use it to undo the terrible damage done by Facebook and other forms of social media to democratic debate and civilized discussion all over the world.” She goes on to say that weak democracies suffer the most. Given the extensive damage done in the USA, that is an extraordinary amount of damage. Just let me cite one example, the conversion of Moslems to radical jihadism. This is a problem most acutely felt by Moslems, in general, and by the parents of those converted, in particular.
Of course, this was not Zukerberg’s intention. Rather it is an unintended and rather extreme consequence. Applebaum goes on to write, “The longer-term impact of disinformation is profound: Eventually it means that nobody believes anything.”
Readers of the healthy memory blog should be aware that it is extremely difficult to disabuse people of their false beliefs. Moreover there are organizations who produce false information. This has become an activity with its own name, agnogenesis.
So an activity is needed to counter agnognesis. Disagnogensis? Please help, Mr. Zukerberg.
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