Linus Torvalds blasts social media as ‘a disease’

“Linux don Linus Torvalds has spoken of his dislike of social media in an interview to mark the 25th birthday of the operating system,” Chris Merriman writes for The Inquirer. ‘In a wide-ranging interview with Linux Journal, Torvalds blasts: ‘I absolutely detest modern ‘social media’ – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. It’s a disease. It seems to encourage bad behaviour.'”

“‘I think part of it is something that email shares too, and that I’ve said before: ‘On the internet, nobody can hear you being subtle.’ When you’re not talking to somebody face to face, and you miss all the normal social cues,'” Merriman writes. “He’s not wrong. Some theorists believe that as much as 95 percent of communication is non-verbal. [Torvalds continues], ‘…it’s easy to miss humour and sarcasm, but it’s also very easy to overlook the reaction of the recipient, so you get things like flame wars, etc., that might not happen as easily with face-to-face interaction.’

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As with every tool, it depends on how you use it.


  1. Thank You MDN.

    If you constantly look at train wrecks trains will look like a horrible method of transportation.

    If you use FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., there is no rule that says you must join large discussions that attract all sorts crazy people.

    Social media has been around for the better part of 40 years. We had Compuserve, Genie, USENET, AOL, Apple’s own social media attempt that was based on AOL, (I forget the name), and zillions of private Bulletin Board Systems, and lots of private online chat servers.

    There have always been hot angry mean discussion and tons of things to learn about. You choose what you want to be a part of. It doesn’t work the other way. The world doesn’t adjust to you.

    I find that people who are the most frustrated are (no joke) very intelligent people who cannot for the life of them understand why no one is listening to them. Which sounds like Linus Torvalds to me. I just want to say to him, “Seriously, do you really care what monkeySpanker165 says about LINUX?”

    On the other hand there is no idea, no concept, on problem, no issue, no subject that I come up with that someone hasn’t already experienced. I love that. There isn’t a day that goes by that I am not thankful I’m not sifting through microfiche to look at system code to figure out why some app is crashing. I Never want to go back to those days.

    Give me the global hive mind any day.

  2. Totally Agree 100% with Torvalds. Social media is the scourge of modern democracy. Everybody is guilty until proven innocent and social media will still call them guilty even if proven innocent in the courtroom of public opinion. I fear for the future.

  3. Hey!!!! What are you saying? *(&**& rgRGCGCR *((*&$#%## %%%%%. My opinion is worth as much as his… even though I don’t even use Linux and never have. *&*(^&### fsck and fsck

  4. Even if people are polite, Facebook is built on the premise that it can sell your personal information. Linus is correct. Facebook is an infection.

  5. He’s close enough correct to the 95% figure. And, as an aside, we perceive the world mostly through our eyes. As an aside to the aside, I love looking into my girlfriend’s sublime eyes.

  6. The point being is that a lot of people behave on social media completely differently than they behave in public. There are no boundaries present that curb outrageous conduct.
    The lack of moderation in most sites enables people to act out of control. If there is no consequence then that behavior will persist.

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