Watch out! A splintered view of reality is coming

I wonder what it will look like…

“The worldwide web as we know it may be ending”, says CNN. The topic is concrete, and serious, so you better read the whole thing. But it may be more useful to read it after having realized something very ironic (in the wrong way, of course).

The sad irony I am talking about is all in this literal quote from the article (emphasis mine):

“If the eventual outcome of that is that we have social media platforms in every major country or market that are separate, then what we will have is an information ecosystem that is completely bifurcated or splintered across the globe… What that portends is a citizenry that has completely different sets of information about local events, about world events, and perhaps a very splintered worldview of reality."

I wonder what such a world may look like

Can you imagine a world like that? It’s really hard, isn’t it? I mean, “very splintered worldviews of reality” is not what we have today. Today we do not have social media platforms liek that, right? Platforms that carefully filter, for their exclusive profit, what every single user sees, for the only purposes of keeping her addicted, to control what she buys or votes. Nothing like that so far, on this planet, right?

Watch out! A splintered view of reality is coming /img/polarization.jpg

Right. I must have been drunk

I must have been drunk three months ago, when I worried about the current dangerous hyper-segmentation of “news”. Or seventeen months ago, about gerrymandering 2.0, or in all my previous posts about polarization or filter bubbles.

Ironic, this is not. In other words, a good part of that article (which remains a good overview of a concrete, serious problem, so read it!) shows that all the attacks to a global internet by governments may lead to… the same, exact status of things as today. At least apparently.

Not all splinternets are the same

The only difference if the World Wide Web is **re-**splintered would be who does the splintering. Who is better suited for such a task? A government, that is something that, at least in some places, at least in theory, is peacefully replaceable at the next election? Or a multinational corporation, almost everywhere a foreign one that couldn’t care less of your local laws?

The answer is up to you, of course.