Social media giants are facing a lot of criticism nowadays. There are various issues ranging from the spreading of extremist content to privacy breaches. Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux recently added a psychological angle to the story. Torvalds holds the view that social media networks are “a disease” and that they encourage bad behavior.
In an Interview with Linux Journall, he said, “I absolutely detest modern media — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.” He continued, “It’s a disease. It seems to encourage bad behavior.”
Linus Torvalds raised his concerns over other things as well. “When you’re not talking to somebody face to face, and you miss all the normal social cues, it’s easy to miss humor and sarcasm, but it’s also very easy to overlook the reaction of the recipient, so you get things like flame wars, etc., that might not happen as easily with face-to-face interaction,” said Torvalds.
One of his major concerns is the “liking” and “sharing” model. He said, “The whole “liking” and “sharing” model is just garbage. There is no effort and no quality control. In fact, it’s all geared to the reverse of quality control, with lowest common denominator targets, and click-bait, and things designed to generate an emotional response, often one of moral outrage.”
The Linux creator also criticized the idea of anonymity on these platforms. Terming anonymity as overrated, he said, “Some people confuse privacy and anonymity and think they go hand in hand, and that protecting privacy means that you need to protect anonymity. I think that’s wrong. Anonymity is important if you’re a whistle-blower, but if you cannot prove your identity, your crazy rant on some social-media platform shouldn’t be visible, and you shouldn’t be able to share it or like it.”