The Kid “Comes of Age”
Congress has, for a long time, acted in collaboration with the media. This relationship started with the print media, that gave way to TV and Hollywood. Now there is another passing of the baton. The new kid on the block has flexed its muscles. Social media has arrived!
The social media generation has come of age. A generation that defines the words “friend” and “like” differently than I do. Today’s “friend” is someone you can tolerate or anyone that does not troll you. The meaning of “like” is a bit more convoluted. It means that you actually want to be “liked” for “liking”. “Like” does not even indicate that you like the material posted. No,“like” is a declaration of membership into the tribe that the “liked” belongs.
This is the generation that has been weened on social media. A generation in search of “safe spaces” will pander for that warm and fuzzy feeling of being liked or friended. A generation that craves approval (“like”) and will sell their soul to avoid being not liked. (is thumbs down even an option?) This phenomena is contagious, many “cool adults” have discovered they too crave “friends” and “likes.” Hell, in the Covid lockdown you’re never alone when surrounded by “friends” that “like” you.
Social media is an environment of group-think. In this venue, the users will avoid or tolerate outrageous spewing as long as it is not directed at them. The spectators on social media realize that it’s a lot easier and safer to avoid and appease rather than resist. This is fertile ground for bullying and today’s social media bullies ostracize to destroy reputations, businesses and lives.
Social media can be harsh, it brings out both the best and the worst in its users but the users “agreed” to this. As toxic as this environment may be the social media oligarchs make it worse. They have put their thumb on the scale of fairness. When they are allowed to choose the winners and silence the losers we all lose. The removal of social media platform Parler from the internet was driven by these dynamics.
Congress “Likes” Social Media
The relationship between Congress and the media has always been delicate. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine who’s the dog and who’s the tail. The conservative media works with their guys and the liberal media works with theirs. The social media oligarchs made a huge advance on the orders that they received from their Democrat “friends”. https://nypost.com/2020/11/18/democrats-use-big-tech-hearings-to-demand-more-censorship/
“Social media is one of the most powerful generators of group-think ever invented in human history, enabling a small number of people to make decision-makers feel besieged with scorn and threatened with ostracization if they do not obey mob demands. The other is that the liberal-left has gained cultural hegemony in the most significant institutions – from academia and journalism to entertainment, sports, music and art — and this weapon, which they most certainly did not invent, is now vested squarely in their hands,” says Glenn Greenwald. https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-moronic-firing-of-will-wilkinson
The oligarchs of social media are not idiots. Greenwald says, “It is inconceivable that Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos and Google executives believe that Parler is some neo-Nazi site that played anywhere near the role in planning and advocating for the Capitol riot as Facebook and YouTube did.”
Was deplatforming Parler a simple business decision? The oligarchs had a clear choice between taking a 1st Amendment approach to expression or two, censorship, wiping out the voices that they disapprove. If they choose the freedom of speech approach they would have suffered retaliatory assaults from their users. By traveling the censorship path, de-platforming Parler, they would satisfy their “liberal”tribe of uses, appease their Congressional collaborator, console the Trump Derangement Victims and it would silence the #1 app downloaded (at that time) and its 10 million users. No brainer, destroy Parler!
Whether it’s: banning Donald Trump’s and his followers from social media; or Antifa accounts for organizing anti-Biden marches; or Palestinian journalists; or canceling any reports of the Hunter Biden illegal behavior uncovered on his laptop; or pro BDS support; or anti-Covid virus claims; these bullies will find “dangerous” expression and silence it.
The Social Media Mob is alive and well.