Facebook: The Devolution of Internet Political Debate

Its sad how political debate on the Internet has devolved with the rise of social media over the years. There is absolutely no worse offender than Facebook. Facebook has a major sharing crisis. People are posting less and less content. Content is what ultimately drives people to social networks.

To combat the trend of declining sharing, Facebook has implemented a number of mechansims. The first one was the website embdeded share button, which made it easy for people to post content from external sites. The second was the “like button,” which is basically one click sharing. Then Facebook introduced the ability to re-share content from your feed, making easy for posted content to go viral.

All of these advances have made it very easy for people to share information. So what’s the problem?

The ability to easily share other people’s content on social networks has led to a decline of political debate on the Internet. When is the last time you saw someone post something political on Facebook that was original content? People are no longing expressing their own thoughts and views, instead they are simply reposting cookie cutter content that is designed to be eye catching, but rarely ever does it actually inform.

Contrast today’s state of deterioration with the “old days” of blogging. The vast majority of content posted on blogs was original content. Sure, people reposted pictures and linked to other websites, but it usually included original content that built upon the parent post. The length of that content went far beyond 140 characters or an awkward picture with a catchy headline.

The real tragedy in this onslaught of unoriginal content is that good information is being drowned in a sea of “shares,” “likes,” and “retweets,” by people have never written a single original thought online. Its no longer about crafting a clever argument, its simply about re-sharing as much crap as possible.