Social Media is More Powerful Than Trump
Americans will believe anything presented in an official way. We are about to learn some lessons that cannot be unlearned no matter what anyone says or does. People are so fixed in their positions that they will often use one lie to discredit another lie. Allow me to paint the picture.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has sat through a number of interviews lately trying to explain the policies of his social media giant. He says they were created to keep America safer and less duped by nefarious online characters. In my latest book, Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs, I dedicate a couple of chapters to the ways social media is ill-equipped for this task. With the possibility that many outrageous lies from Donald Trump and his reelection campaign will land on Facebook, what is the Zuck to do? He hasn’t a plan.
I like to use language correctly and accurately. A favorite phrase of my high school English teacher was, “be specific!” When you call something a “safe zone,” please be sure that no specific person will be blown up there. Let’s think about the term “social media.” It’s a vague phrase, but over time we have learned that its websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or participate in social networking. Do the owners of social networking websites or applications have the right to censor the content that is shared on their platforms? People and groups are now challenging Facebook to decide the veracity of the content posted by its members. The people at Facebook can’t monitor every post fast enough, and after hearing Zuckerberg on NBC, they won’t being doing much more than they do now.
When Hillary Clinton said that the Russians are looking to co-opt one of the Democratic candidates running for President, her claim was widely reposted and the comments flowed. How can Facebook cut that off? A sidebar comment will be appropriate here. Why is Hillary Clinton doing anything to affect the campaigns of those running for President? Oh, yeah, she still feels that social media hurt her in 2016. I get that, but why attack anyone without proof? Go be a grandmother, Hill.
Now we learn that Mitt Romney has a fake Twitter feed under the name “Pierre Delecto” who appeared to be an anti-Trump guy. The page has been taken down, but what is going on? When someone with that much credibility uses Twitter to stir up some dust behind Trump, I can’t help wondering if it was just an experiment or an effort to learn how to use Twitter politically.
I was banned by Twitter for 12 hours because I called Lindsey Graham a “political whore,” which seemed to be the best way to characterize his bouncing back and forth on matters concerning Trump. After all, the second meaning of the word “whore” conveys exactly my thought, “a person who is regarded as willing to do anything to get a particular thing.” I was eventually returned to active status, but I wonder who at Twitter decides what I can say? They let Trump post anything, even FAKE NEWS and purposeful lies that can damage a person and a country.
The reason why people like Joe Biden are so concerned about the policies at Facebook, Twitter and all the other social media sites is because they understand the power of those platforms. Our First Amendment protects the “press” from censorship. Social media, however, is NOT the press, even though they are used to spread the written word quite nicely. If I write something on Twitter or Facebook, wouldn’t I be the publisher, it is my account? I’m just using the social media servers to distribute my content. Why do they get to edit my words? Their “standards” are not a free pass to the final determination of what is true. What is about to change and maybe codified in law is that Facebook and Twitter could be classified as a publisher, therefore would actually have more First Amendment rights.
My conclusion on all this is much like what people think about video games. Many of them are ultra-violent expressions cloaked in a game. Some say that professional football is just war put into a game. But as more and more people are drawn into video games, players are now being organized into large tournaments where they can win millions of dollars. Does that make it right? Everyone knows that the use of violence in many games make them more exciting.
The geeks who own social media companies have found ways to mine data for monetary rewards. They created a marketing platform for companies, groups and political candidates who pay money for ads and placement on the site. They are not going to take every ad, they do have procedures, but they are not going to stop the money coming in from you, me or Russia. They take the money and run the ads while having no ability to monitor comments or reposts. They are lying about how it works.
Just like video game makers aren’t going to take the violence out of their products, social media is not going to protect your privacy any more than they must, and things that cost too much money will be delayed. Trump’s fake news is powerful, and his campaign has tons of money to spread his words further than Facebook or Twitter can manage. If Russia decides to push against Trump, he will not be helped by any social media site. They simply don’t know what to do. It’s a beast out of control!
Read About The Country We Love
The book that tells it like it is…
Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.