Filling the Void

Chapter 5

Enclosure, ignorance and the politics of content

The consequences of filling the void

What happens when we use social media to "fill the void" and allow our compulsive relationship to social media to dominate? This chapter tries to take stock of the arguments made in earlier chapters, and investigates two areas where we might see some of the consequences of the patterns they outline.

Part I

What happens when you upload a picture of your young child to Facebook? Does that child have a right not to have his or her images stored publicly online? Why does Facebook censor women's nipples, but not men's? This part of the chapter explores what it means for a single corporation to determine what belongs and does not belong on a platform as large and omnipotent as Facebook.

Part II

Lots of people argued that "fake news" on social media got Donald Trump elected and caused Britain to leave the European Union, but are these arguments somewhat simplistic? Do social media audiences really want "truth"? Given the orientation around emotionally salient content, and the business models outlined inprevious chapters, how realistic to imagine that factual media can really be at home on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so forth.

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