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The week in radio and podcasts: The Long View; Your Call; How I Got Here; The Co

ElCampoRadio.com 2 Foros en ElCampoRadio.com The week in radio and podcasts: The Long View; Your Call; How I Got Here; The Co

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    HarryJenkins
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    In these turbulent days of data-harvesting, election-manipulation and unscrupulous companies secretly selling our friends’ personal details, Radio 4’s The Long View had a question for us all. How is Facebook like the Catholic church? Because, according to the programme, Mark Zuckerberg’s world-hammering online connection sensation is entirely reminiscent of pre-Reformation Roman Catholicism, “the first global social network”.
    Excuse me while I take a breath. I have an enormous fondness for The Long View, and it’s great that it’s reacting to recent news, but my personal hunch is that the medieval Catholic church’s raison d’etre was not so that its worshippers had a virtual forum to share silly jokes and updates about their pets. But perhaps I’m wrong. Because back then, insisted Diarmaid MacCulloch, professor of the history of the church at Oxford University, prayers were equal to “likes”. Oh yes. Everyone needed a lot of other people’s prayers in order to leave Purgatory. “As many likes as possible – prayers – and you’re through,” said the prof. I have to admit, I laughed. But not as hard as when we were informed that the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie was, in fact, Martin Luther. Full marks to Jonathan Freedland and his contributors for doggedly pursuing their bonkers analogy for the entire half-hour, in the manner of a desperate sixth-former comparing the Senate to The Simpsons. “Donald Trump is like Homer Simpson because they’re both an orangey-yellow hue…”
    Over on 5 Live, Facebook was being treated in the way it deserves: as a modern tool that has both good and bad sides. Rachel Burden hosted a lively Your Call phone-in on Wednesday morning that proved that 5 Live listeners, at least, have a strong grasp on the social network’s virtues and vices. One woman used it to find her long-lost half-siblings. Another commented that she cut down on it because she started judging people she hardly knew for their online opinions: “I would cross the road to avoid them. But before, when I was on the school run, I just used to nod at everyone.” Every caller seemed au fait with what was what and able to circumnavigate Facebook’s pitfalls without recourse to an olde worlde analogy.

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