After a tragedy that hits the feels because it’s close to home, massive amounts of people take to Facebook and spread stories about it. Take the New Zealand instance. Westerners relate to New Zealand because it’s Western. We think it’s generally a safe place, so when a shooter walks in and kills everyone inside a place of worship, us Westerners relate. That’s okay. Same goes with tragedies that happen in France (see the passion behind the Notre Dame cathedral fire), England, the United States, and so on. It wasn’t necessarily because the NZ victims were Muslim, as even Christian and/or white victims get a similar amount of treatment (and to an extent, Western people’s buildings get an even more phenomenal treatment) as long as they’re Western.

notre dame at night

Notre Dame. Still there.

But then there always follows a wave of guilt shaming. Saying, “You people paid attention to this conflict, but not to these other conflicts! How dare you!” Then they’ll find tragedies about their own in-group, and rage on Facebook trying to shame people into feeling guilty about this or that. After NZ, posts came up about Nigerian Christians who were killed, or about the ongoing murders of Christians in Syria—curiously those same people had nothing to say later in their posts when 200 Christians were murdered in Sri Lanka (instead of shaming people, imagine if you just shared things). After a jihadist went nuts and stabbed people on a bridge in London, people found some instance about brown people in whereverlandistan, saying, “Ya’ll only care about white people!” And so it goes.

This is, I think, a big symptom of only getting your news on Facebook. Let’s say you deeply care about Nigerian Christians getting murdered. When the NZ attack happened, it certainly felt like the world was ignoring what you cared about, because they’re Muslims! And then you see that someone wrote an article just about that, so that must be what’s happening! But what’s really going on is that’s what the people on your feed care about. They are not The News, they are an echo chamber. This is why it’s important to actually take the time to visit news sites from time to time and not depend upon Facebook as your source of news.

Echoooo! choooo! oo! o!

Facebook shares content from your friends. So you are only seeing content that has been curated by a group of people that you yourself have curated. Does media seem too liberal? Check your friends list. Does it seem to conservative? Check your friends list. There is no Facebook editorial board—which can be good or bad, because true editorial boards can follow agendas (as apparently even the FB algorithm is wont to do). But then also you get caught in an echo chamber, a spiral of news from people with similar interests as yourself. These people share blogs, news articles, and so on that reinforce their (and your) world view, further pushing you into your own slot and so you no longer exist in an objective world, but everything becom