Social Media That is Not So Social

Many of us who are gear geeks like myself get a bit of a thrill in chasing not only the latest releases, but also the rumours about the latest releases. We develop our own stable of reliable sources. Some of these could be direct contacts with manufacturers, some could be other news gathering bodies that take great pains to get it right.

While I do enjoy reading about the latest rumours, they do nothing more than give me a bit of a rush. It’s the anticipation of something new and exciting. But reality eventually sets in and I get on with my day.

One such source for me has been “Canon Rumors”, a website operated for the last 14 years by the same guy. I’m not going to mention his name here and you will see why shortly. The information posted has been very reliable and very fairly presented, accompanied by a rating system that clearly indicated how likely the rumour was to materialize and how reliable his source was.

While I haven’t been a faithful reader, I’ve connected somewhat regularly and have always appreciated the information.

A few days ago, this 14 year journey came to an end, with the owner notifying his readers that he was planning to sell his enterprise to others. It was the reason for the sale and decision coming at this time that is the main issue of today’s blog. It seems that more and more people disagree with the information he shared or were offended when he didn’t get it right, and are deciding to voice that disagreement in nasty, disrespectful ways, including sending insulting and threatening e-mails.

But equally problematic is the prolferation of YouTube reviewers who exploit the information presented through Canon Rumors careful research and either parrot those findings for their own gain or offer their own unfounded and sometimes uninformed perspectives on the well-researched content. One YouTuber in particular literally does very little else when discussing Canon products other than parrot the findings of Canon Rumors, sometimes posting two or three videos a day from his home “studio”, which is a desk in his basement. In fairness, he has acknowledged his source as Canon Rumors, but does no work on his own to surface those rumors or confirm them.

So on the one hand, those who do no work of their own joyfully exploit the content, and on the other hand, other “experts” who also do no work of their own disagree so vehemently that the only way to respond is to issue a threat. What’s wrong with this picture?

The negative reactions that lead to threatening rhetoric have apparently become so frequent and difficult that the owner of Canon Rumors had to pack it in. We see this kind of insanity everywhere on social media today – certainly in politics and now, it seems, in our hobbies and pasttimes. To hear that threatening emails have been sent referencing not only the man but his spouse and family is beyond comprehension. It makes me angry. What has the world come to?

I love sharing my interest in photography with like-minded souls. These last two years, the only real outlet for doing so has been online. We’ve learned to embrace Zoom and to post regularly to the groups we have joined on Instagram and Facebook, among others. I look forward to the banter, sometimes in agreement, sometimes not, but I am always respectful and appreciative of the exchange. That anyone has to deal with the crappy situation that led to this change for the founder of Canon Rumors makes me very much regret the times we live in.

As a sombre footnote, I also have to report that I was the subject of name calling recently as a result of my last YouTube video, in which I called out Nikon for having to issue a health warning with its latest lens release. Being called a “whiner” and “alarmist” and “full of misinformation” (along with other labels I won’t post here) is not acceptable. That said, most viewers were very polite even in their disagreement, but one was offensive. Those comments were removed and the individual banned from my channel. I also had to post a notice that any such comments in future would be removed.

Life is too short to spend it on this stuff. Even writing this post should be an unnecessary waste of time. Hopefully it will be the last time I do it.

3 thoughts on “Social Media That is Not So Social

  1. I hope that you will not give up your postings altogether. Maybe it will become a winter project. I love reading your insights and thoughts..but then again, you are a good friend.


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