This is the ugly conundrum of the digital age: When you traffic in outrage, you get death.
So when the Sri Lankan government temporarily shut down access to American social media services like Facebook and Google ’s YouTube after the bombings there on Easter morning, my first thought was “good.”
Good, because it could save lives. Good, because the companies that run these platforms seem incapable of controlling the powerful global tools they have built. Good, because the toxic digital waste of misinformation that floods these platforms has overwhelmed what was once so very good about them. And indeed, by Sunday morning so many false reports about the carnage were already circulating online that the Sri Lankan government worried more violence would follow.