An article caught my eye – click-bait on the BBC website. The title is ‘Cheating and manipulation: Confessions of a gaslighter’, which presses a few buttons in just a handful of words.

The article itself is ostensibly presented as something informative, but is entirely devoid of anything substantial. It’s just made up nonsense about some imaginary person who manipulates his lovers to cover up his infidelity. But how does he manipulate them?

Quoting from the earlier paragraphs, I the following snippets seemed telling.

he made jokes over a period of time pointing to her “obsession” with social media, making her feel that she was suspicious in an unhealthy, even “crazy” way

So that’s the extent of his ‘Gaslighting’ is it?

Greg says she had started to question herself and apologised for suspecting him, vowing to spend less time on social media.

So, questioning someone’s obsessive use of social media web sites is now a possible case of psychological abuse, to instil self doubt to the oppressed other half?

It’s hard to imagine that this article is not sponsored in some way. It seems a shame that the BBC is increasingly becoming a crappy vehicle for the kind of paid PR and marketing content that seems to have become the norm on the net over the past five or ten years.

I expect 2018 will see an intensive fight from the social media companies (mostly Facebook, I suppose) to combat the growing backlash against the techniques they’ve been exploiting to keep eyes glued to screens.

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