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What the world needs now

Comments Off on What the world needs now 11 February 2018

What the world needs now

“What the world needs now,” wrote Hal David and Burt Bacharach, “Is love sweet love” and who am I to disagree? Our world is, after all, pretty fucked up as it is. We definitely need more love and less hate. So what does Facebook apparently want to do? The word is they want to introduce a “dislike” button. What the world doesn’t need is hate, more hate.

I am not, of course, blameless in terms of disliking stuff on social networks. I literally do hate the far right stuff that is posted, sometimes in error, sometimes in ignorance but often because people agree with it. The hate-filled world of Trump, Putin and, lest we forget, Farage is in the eyes of many the new norm. Add migrants and foreign people in general and there is already plenty of hate to go round.

Adding another level of hate to Facebook would achieve what, exactly? I would suggest another depressing level of hatred, another reason to ingrain into our society the Daily Mail adage that everything is wrong and nothing works in our country. Oh look: a picture of migrants desperately crossing the sea in search of a better life in a boat unfit for purpose. Dislike that. The Mail and Express says they are they are benefit-scrounging skivers. Make sure you hate it too. And they have brown skin. Dislike, dislike, dislike.

The dislike or hate feature could cover everything, from a reaction to the killers of James Bulger to dislike of a particular rock band. And that dislike would be on the same level. One of my favourite rock bands, Toto, are genuinely hated by many people, not least by music snobs who cannot accept that we don’t all like the same music. Put a video of them performing Africa, say, and some people will say they dislike or hate it. Fair enough, but it’s such a use of negative energy. It’s like compiling a team of the worst players who played for your club. If you don’t like it, then don’t press the like button and leave it at that.

Above everything, a dislike or hate button would be corrosive to the human spirit. The reason the world is in such a mess is because of hate. Trump hates everything, so does Putin, Brexit was bought, at least partly, by hatred of foreigners and of course lies from the Brexiters, either encouraging more hate or awakening the hatred which was already there.

I can see the dislike/hate button coming because increasingly Facebook is becoming the preserve of older people and, as we know, many older people carry with them the memories of a better world in the past that never really existed, a dislike of foreign people and the idea that we Brits are better than everyone else.

Pardon my hypocrisy because I have been known to give my somewhat negative views on such rock bands as Muse and Queen on politicians such as Farage, Johnson and Trump. I just don’t want to be encouraged to do it every time I log onto Facebook. As we have said, there’s already too much hate to go round. Let’s not encourage more.

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