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I was going to write a newsletter today about the world going to hell in a handbasket.
Particularly, I was going to rant about this study that argues that caused Amnesty International to declare trolling of women on Twitter a human rights abuse, and Citron Research citing Twitter as “toxic” for advertisers as a result, leading to a downgrade of its stock.
Companies like Twitter have refused to take a stand on so many moral issues shrugging about their “fiduciary duty” to shareholders. Well, now toxicity is costing those shareholders. Will “woke” T-shirt-wearing Jack Dorsey finally do anything about it?
Research Chairman Mom did with Survey Monkey earlier this year dug into Facebook’s toxicity for women, particularly moms. We found that 88% of women witness “mom shaming” on Facebook, with two-thirds of them seeing it frequently. As a result, just 4% of women will ask advice on social media. And Facebook is nowhere near as toxic as Twitter, in my view and apparently in the view of Amnesty International.
It’s a damning indictment—and a reminder—that we can’t blame all the problems when it comes to bigotry, racism, and abuse of women on red states. Twitter and Facebook are so blue, they are the companies’ colors.
But, really, what more is there to say as a woman who has been endlessly trolled on these platforms to other women who have also likely been endlessly trolled on these platforms? Yeah, duh, what took you all so long?
Instead, I want to write about Steve Conley.
I always tell people who say “You can never go home!” that “Oh, yes. I can.” Memphis stubbornly resists change. To the point where this morning, I was driving to work out in my parents’ car (which has changed), and I turned on FM 99.7. When I was growing up this was FM 100 and played non-threatening pop music. It’s now called “Guess FM”… I mean, makes sense. Nothing has changed so dramatically in this country as local media, whether TV, radio or print. Conglomerates like Clear Channel have gobbled up the airways and don’t even employ local DJs in a lot of locations. They have one dude sitting around who programs a lineup and then syndicates it out to lots of markets.
Or so I’ve been told.
The commercial break ended, and rolled right into a rock block that featured—I’m not joking—the exact sams non-threatening pop music that was popular when I was in high school and listened to FM 100. And then, the DJ came on. STEVE CONLEY! The same guy who was the main DJ of FM 100 when I was in highschool.
“STEVE CONLEY HOW OLD ARE YOU!?” I screamed at the radio.
No, seriously. My older siblings also listened to Steve Conley. And I am in my 40s. I went to his internet bio. That’s either an old picture or he’s a cylon. I’m picturing him like those heads on Futurama.
How Steve Conley has survived mass consolidation and layoffs in the local radio world—to say nothing of the passage of time—I don’t know. But I salute his perseverance and this little oasis of sameness in a crumbling world.