What challenges do digital media pose to journalists and activists seeking the truth? What is the truth anyway and does anyone still care about it? Self-proclaimed ‘Facebook firebrand’ Troll-Eye Spam tries – and rather fails – to answer these questions and others.
Oi oi web-els and wiki-lutionaries, meme-preachers and malware-contents, I’m here to tell you all the news that’s fit to post about the worldwide digi-political info-space of the future that we’re hover-boarding through right now… and without a licence ‘cos who needs one? In a 21st century knowledge-democracy anyone can have a go!
As you know, every single papery news organ on planet Earth was abolished in the year 2000. The paradigm shift to social media came in warp speed and with no sick bag provided. We are where we are and where we are is where we are, which is here: a brave, dangerous, subversive, sexy, state-of-the-art new way of despising the world.
I’ve been in the virtu-activism game for just under 14 weeks. I’m a veteran. With just a click of a mouse or an ejaculation over a wireless keyboard, I can change the world. Every day. Sometimes every second, when I can be arsed. Here’s how I do it.
When I post some words of post-wisdom, it doesn’t matter whether I’m right, it matters whether what I say looks right to all the people reading. And usually all the people reading do think I’m right because I’ve blocked or deleted anyone who might doubt me. I have to do this because I live in quivering fear of being hated. I live in even greater fear of being ignored.
You also have to be prepared to change your mind about the issues of the day. Easily. Instantly. Constantly. In fact, it helps to have no strong feelings or firm principles whatsoever if you can possibly help it. Beliefs are so passé, so analogue anyway. Yawn!
Before that election we had, I saw a picture of that Jeremy Corbyn from that IRA. I mean, there it was: a genuine, authentic digital photo of him from the 1750s – or whenever it was the IRA were around – wearing a kipper tie, tank top and massive sideburns. The camera never lies. I immediately shared it and typed ‘What a c***!’ I got 34 “likes” for it. Only then did I think to substantiate both what I’d written and the source it was based on. I know you can’t be done for libel on social media – er can you? – but if you’re a serious activist you gotta get your facts straight.
So I Googled the phrase ‘Corbyn’s a c*** who personally polished bazookas for the IRA’ and a few pages down I found what I was looking for: a 12-year-old life coach guru from Lowell, Massachusetts with a PhD from Stamshaw University who’d said on his vlog, ‘Jeremy Corbyn owes taxes to the IRS.’ Now it’s possible that this is a completely different Jeremy Corbyn – maybe one from Lowell, Massachusetts rather than the leader of the British Labour Party – and that the IRS is a completely different entity to the IRA, but let’s not split hairs. It was the smoking gun evidence – if you excuse the pun – that I needed to ensure at least another 3 people would “like” – and indeed like – me.
5 minutes later a comment came up from one of my “friends”. Never met her – she’s a disgraced bandicoot saleswoman from Melbourne, Australia – but she wrote, ‘I hate Corbeen, think he’s uncall. LOL. #IhayteCodpeen.’
Vindication or what?
But 2 minutes after that someone who isn’t a “friend” or a friend – who spent a decade in a high-security sex offender’s unit but has since redeemed himself by regularly posting photos of French windows around the Darlington area – commented, ‘I like Clodbean, I think he’s coool. LOL. IRA. SOS. #IlahkCodbream.’ He got 35 “likes” for that, one more than me. Bastard.
I was forced to completely change my position and start liking Corbyn. I didn’t want to lose any traffic, after all. If that happened, I’d throw myself in front of some actual traffic.
Cyber-dissidents like me are always being accused of spewing up fake news. That’s e-crappage of the smelliest kind. I know fake news when I see it. All that Trump stuff was far from cool, right? What was that headline? ‘Hillary Clinton is really Jihadi John who is really Ross Kemp.’ That can’t be right because John and Kemp are blokes and they have brown or no hair whereas Hillary’s a bird and she’s got blonde hair. Apart from those minor details, the story could be true. Anything could be true. Anything could be false. That’s the exciting, mashed-up, crowd-sourced, boot-sectored, Trojan-horsed, HP-sourced environment we’re in now.
Anyway, I prefer to trust in proper journalists who went to proper schools and who work for proper organisations. They have all the safeguards in place to make sure they never lie or distort. This is why I know for certain that Hitler wrote a load of diaries, the Millennium Bug destroyed Western civilisation on 1st January 2000, Saddam Hussein was 45 minutes away from wiping us out with nukes, depression doesn’t exist and that, whenever we in the West slag off Vladimir Putin or those nutters in Iran or Turkey or the Philippines, we do it from a perfect moral high ground because we never invade anywhere, never oppress anyone and we’re generally right about pretty much everything.
See, you don’t have to be afraid – I’m not that radical! Being that radical would lose me so many “friends” that I won’t be able to lift my eyes away from the screen without gobbling a veritable banquet of high-strength anti-depressant drugs.
Photography by Moshe Tasky.