No matter how much you hate Facebook, Wired’s ‘beaten Mark Zuckerberg’ cover is a disgrace

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Mark Zuckerberg

The magazine have published a photograph that wouldn’t look out of place on The Daily Stormer.

The competition to be the most boring person at the party used to between the guy with the acoustic guitar playing Wonderwall, the person loudly discussing veganism, that bloke explaining why The Beatles are overrated, and the couple with the impressive knack for managing to bring up how they don’t even own a TV. Now, the top of the pain-in-the-arse pops is the person who doesn’t use Facebook, and wants to tell you why you shouldn’t either.

Facebook is awful. There are lots of reasons: it’s an extension of the surveillance culture we’ve become almost bored of discussing, it pretends to have hippy ideals while being utterly gimlet-eyed about destroying whole industries, it was a conduit for misinformation on industrial scale during the 2016 Presidential election, and it constantly forces you to find out about the lives of smug couples who you can’t quite bring yourself to unfriend.

But – like Mark Anthony – today, I come not to bury Mark Zuckerberg but to, well, not praise him either, but mildly defend him.

The latest cover of the US edition of Wired magazine features a composite image of a bloodied and bruised Zuckerberg. The photograph – created using a lookalike and a picture of the real Facebook founder and CEO – is a metaphor for the strife he has faced in recent times. You can see why the editorial staff and photographers at Wired were so jazzed about this concept – it is already on its way to becoming a modern classic. But there are some big problems with this choice…

COVER STORY: For two years, it’s been hell inside of Facebook. 51 current and former employees paint a picture of a company grappling with the problems it’s caused, and a CEO whose techno-optimism is circling the drain as he tries to fix them https://t.co/mAQJm3rYCp pic.twitter.com/IK2fArcC6i

— WIRED (@WIRED) February 12, 2018

With the surge in ‘populism’ (a nice cuddly name for fascist and pseudo-fascist movements) across the Western world, antisemitism and violence towards minorities has also spiked massively. The figures get heavily disputed by the right because, well, they don’t want to face up to the side-effects of even their low-level bigotry. In this climate, Wired publishing a cover story featuring an image of the probably the world’s most famous Jewish businessman battered and bruised is tone deaf.

To Wired – Pravda for the Silicon Valley set – the imagery is just metaphorical. They are so proud of their achievement that they have written an entirely separate article about how the effect was achieved. And the journalism in the feature that the image trails is excellent – deeply reported and insightful on the fundamental problems that confront Facebook’s leadership in the age of misinformation. But that doesn’t make up for the cover.

The cover is succour to fascists. I’ll be accused of hyperbole but I don’t believe it is such: Let me spell it …read more

Source:: New Statesman

      

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