InternetCensorship-300x274The multi-zillionaire internet zippies love to tell you how the net has brought the world closer.

With their digital rose tinted hi tech glasses on they tell us that the net has made the world smaller and made the world come together in a  mass communication love in.

In some respects they are right.

The net is a wonderful thing. It’s the future. It’s now replaced everything we grew up with. The certainties of mass media were turned upside down by the web revolution –  from music to TV to film – whole industries have collapsed and been replaced by the click. Politics has become sound bite and the mass media a snappy soundbite and a career one tweet away from destruction.

In 2015 you are one click away from someone in a  dusty village in the middle of Iran or an island in the middle of the Pacific. It certainly feels like the world has shrunk and we have all got closer. A mass illusion of mass community.

Whilst is destroyed any notion of surviving as a musician it means your music can get heard everywhere and information can be thrown around the world with the flick of a wrist.

But has it made us any closer? The prevailing trend seems to have been that the net has split the world into micro communities, small vicious arguments and tiny digital villages where loud voices type vigorously, shouting at each other, egging each other on in their views like an ancient pub argument gone international yet mini micro.

Every Facebook page, every forum, every small digi- space has become an excuse to exaggerate views to the nth extreme and block out the rest of the world. There is no mass media. the megapolis is now a collection of millions of digital hamlets and mass consensus has been swopped for millions of I’m totally right digi communities.

It’s a digital illusion, the micro community feels like the whole world. The nature of the net makes these communities feel like the focus of the international when you are really 4 people typing furiously at each other. The net does that strange trick of making it feel like you are connected to the world when you are really connected to a couple of other people in a  fierce micro spotlight of fierce opinion.

From neo nazi to religious zealots to lovers of obscure musical adventure the internet is full of these strange fractured mini me worlds where big voices shout in tiny rooms and strut around these smoking keyboard debates.

And with the blur between reality and typing these views are transposed into the real world. The micro digital mind pumped by hours of agreeing with a couple of other people online and become entrenched in their binary views. A world shrunk to a 2D tiny reality where everyone is right and all opinions are black or white and there is no in-between and that’s not science fiction that’s the now…

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.



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