Filter Me This.

(Week 8)

Coffee? Filter. Face? Filter. A myriad of ads only ever showing you Wish items under $1 because Google’s algorithms know how much money you have (don’t have) in your savings account? Filter.

This week in class we got on about social media and how it may or may not narrow our views on certain topics. Akin to the sin that is disinformation and misinformation, there is a relative of these I like to call plain old your-mother-taught-you-not-to, lying.

Ok, so what is the difference? To me, lying is deliberate and willful. It may be an overarching reason for spreading disinformation or misinformation, but disinformation or misinformation feels like a “means” to the lying ends. If I could define lying, I would say lying is the spread of an unfiltered view acting in bad faith regarding some information.

But so what? What does this have to do with filters? Since we were on the topic of Social Media, I thought we could talk about two types of filters. The filters for your face and the abstract filter that arises from the potentiality of several thousand data points these networks have on file for you. Both are different, but both contribute to lying via filters.

Have you heard of the saying, lying by omission is still lying? It’s an old adage, I have no idea where it comes from, but I argue that its reasoning applies to how social media deters you from certain information, in favour of showing you information it thinks you will like (more on that next week). If the audience is being forced to only see what the algorithms think you want to see, it is omitting information from you that could help you understand the whole truth. But is it lying to you? I’ll let you decide.

Then there are the obvious super filters that eradicate any semblance of skin texture on your face and face tuning so adept to stereotypical beauty standards that it allows 70-year-olds to become 20 again. Yes, it’s fun to put on fake sunglasses filters, bunny ears, or moustaches, but I’m talking about the filters that shout “LOOK I’M LYING” from the mountain tops, the obvious and the damning.

I honestly don’t know where I’m rambling off with this because I’m sure we can probably all agree that, these lies are not good for the mental health of those involved. These are just some thoughts that popped into my head during class that I felt like writing out. Yes, these thoughts may be unoriginal, but it’s my process ok??? Gosh.

Napoleon Dynamite sitting in the back of the school bus saying, GOSH. Classic.

Bye for now!


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