With A Month Till The Election There Is Open Hostility When It Comes To Politics On Social Media
With only a month to go, the little courtesy that was left has gone out of the window … [+]
According to some on social media, President Trump is a racist who should have died of Covid-19 before democracy ends, while Vice President Biden is a socialist who will bankrupt America.
Such feelings are increasingly shared on almost all social media platforms.
With just a month to go by the time the election is over, unpredictable courtesy is out of the window and we can only expect the most outrageous comments over the next four weeks.
Elections have always brought out the worst in people – but this year the hype, vicious and red-hot comments, and just a general lack of decency have hit levels like never before.
“It’s about profit and consistency, and there is no longer any consequence of bad behavior,” said tech entrepreneur Lon Safko, author of the Social Media Bible.
“The choice makes it all to 11,” added tech industry analyst Josh Crandall of Netpop Research. “We’re all anxious and dissatisfied. The online forum is the only place people can feel comfortable and in some ways it’s a cathartic publication for many.”
In normal times, this release would be about venting steam, but now the pressure is so high that the venting is quite intense.
“Unfortunately, divisive tactics used by the powerful influencers at the extremes simply fan the fires out by spreading malicious and antagonistic memes,” noted Crandall. “Those extreme voices have gone down a path that affects others. It makes people think that it’s okay to speak their thoughts out loud when many just shouldn’t.”
Reversing the fairness doctrine
Social media isn’t the only culprit, however. The great divisions in this country are fueled each night by the commentaries on the cable news networks in which, instead of a summary of the day’s events; The speaking heads have clearly taken sides.
“Forty years ago the only outlets were television, radio, magazines, and newspapers, and there was the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Fairness Doctrine, introduced in 1949, which required broadcasters / reporters to present controversial issues of public concern in a balanced, fair, and public way honest manner, “explained Safko.
“The resolution of this law in 1987 opened the door to one-sided, partisan, editorial, selfish rhetoric,” said Safko.
This resulted in the loss of viewers / subscribers, so the income had to be played fairly with both sides.
“Before the invention of the internet, you couldn’t afford to lose viewers / sponsors, especially 50% or more of them to partisan or offensive content,” noted Safko.
The rise of social media
Today it is not just the speaking heads and established experts who use social media to discuss politics. Even in the internet age, commenting on an election may have been limited to commenting on a message, but social media has given everyone a voice – and this has enabled a generation of social commentators to use the platform as a broadcast tool.
This is especially true for celebrities and influencers who have gained mass followers on Twitter and Instagram and can now share their opinion during the elections. This is an important consideration given that in the days before, cable TV celebrities generally focused on talking about their projects like movies or music.
Today the celebrity has become a political expert, and often because of their opinion. Perhaps too many celebrities are so used to playing well-educated characters on TV – and we see them in those roles – they share their opinions and we listen!
But often it’s gut feelings and opinions, not facts, that are shared on social media platforms. Unfortunately, many politicians on both sides of the aisle are just as guilty of using Twitter and other platforms like the soapbox to reach out to an audience.
“I’m not sure it’s the worst on social media,” suggested Charles King, technology analyst at Pund-IT. “It’s more like the elemental design of social media guarantees that people can closely follow and support the groups and causes they prefer.”
“Add in the targeted advertising technologies that Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms rely on for revenue. The result is that users are effectively living in self-determined echo chambers that reinforce their own prejudices and are cut off from everyone with whom they may even work together slightly. ” disagree, “added King.” So the road from social media to anti-social media is short and rocky. “
Social media has been invoked because of the spread of misinformation and even disinformation and the lack of factual verification. But just as bad is the lack of any regulation or control.
“With social media platforms not technically calling themselves media companies, the lack of regulation and the actual increase in sales caused by outrageous and controversial content, Google, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram welcome the discontent,” said Safko.
“Not to mention how they support content that drives their own political agendas,” he added. “As the US becomes more and more divided into pachyderms and donkeys, the outlets are tending to the specific groups that offer them the type of content they insist on. The more those outlets escalate that content into hideous and repulsive partisan rhetoric, the more The higher their viewership, the higher their ratings and the higher their advertising revenue. “
Unfortunately, as with most social problems, profit drives this illegal behavior, and the lack of consequences allows it to flourish uncontrollably.
“And without any responsibility or consequence for the content of its users,” said Safko, “it’s ‘anything goes!'”