A century-old argument for social media

It’s about the problem with the “Press” (or mass media), and highlights what social media can help with (from 1916):

“News, that is, information with regard to those things which affect us but which are not within our own immediate view, is necessary to the life of the State. The obvious, the extremely cheap, the universal means of propagating it, is by word of mouth. A man has seen a thing ; many men have seen a thing. They testify to that thing, and others who have heard them repeat their testimony. The Press thrust into this natural system (which is still that upon which all reasonable men act whenever they can upon matters most nearly concerning them) two novel features, both of them exceedingly corrupting. In the first place, it gave to the printed word a rapidity of extension with which repeated spoken words could not compete. In the second place, it gave them a unanimity and a similarity which were the very opposites of healthy human news.”

Hilaire Belloc. The Present Position and Power of the Press. The New Age. Dec. 14, 1916