“The effort to differentiate between legitimate and fake content is completely out of the picture.” -@b0rkj0rk
The Problem We Are Going To Address
I think we all can agree the internet isn’t what it used to be. Things have changed. The majority of the eyes on the internet are going to a couple main companies but not much outside of that. All of our news feeds are manipulated to give us information that the algorithm thinks that we want. This has turned out not to be a good thing. We are living in a time of “communication breakdown”. The tech giants use OUR data against us gauging the sentiment of the masses. We have all the technology in the world to talk to each other, but how many people listen? Not as many as you might think. The internet has allowed people to become ideologues in mass numbers. They coalesce together in a tribal manner that sometimes isn’t productive and other times it is. But when most people use the internet, they don’t know what information is true. Fake news, real news, fake facts, real facts, what is the difference at this point? Many people just squawk back and forth at each other and don’t really listen to each other’s ideas because they live in an echo chamber that reinforces their world views. Communication Breakdown.
Often times we find stuff that we want to share with others on the internet. So we share it to facebook. We think that we have discovered something profound. Something that the people from our local tribe might not have ever heard of. But it gets no likes. No comments. No one said anything. Your little information nugget of gold is forgotten, drifting further and further down the news feed until no ones sees it anymore.
What a shame.
But what do we expect? We are competing with some of the most entertaining videos and posts in the world when we get on the internet. Why would we expect someone else to look at the stuff that we share just because we think it is important. They have their own stuff that they are interested in. It’s not that they don’t care, it’s just that their time is occupied with different things. They might not be able to see why what you shared is important. Or they just might not care. Maybe they are left and you are right. Could be many different things.
This is the problem.
During the election of 2012, I made a Facebook page that shared political information and invited everyone in my high school and vocational school to join. Myself, along with several other people submitted content to this page throughout the entire election cycle. Over time, many of the contributors started going away because many of the posts weren’t getting the attention the authors thought they should. After the election was over, we deemed the mission of the Facebook page a failure. Low engagement – people didn’t care.
Fast forward to 2017 and we are just now ending an election cycle and its one of the craziest times in history. I have several people on my facebook now that think communism would be a good idea for world government. The people are divided more than ever before.
All that being said what is king on the internet? If you listen to some woo woo lifestyle entrepreneur they will tell you content is king on the internet. I can assure you this is a lie. What is king on the Internet is not content, but actually – controversy.
Despite what you might think of him, Milo Yiannopoulos has used controversy to propel himself into the national spotlight. So it is true.
I realized the weight of this truth in this last election when I would troll my commie friends on facebook. The trolling sessions would get very heated, but I would wake up in the morning after reading all the comments and likes, realizing that the controversy that I started trolling my commie friends got people to actually read about important issues. More people than I ever reached sharing links to interesting topics that I found. It was the controversy that got people in the door, and once they read about what we would argue over – then they would think.
This went on for some time until I was known to be an anti-commie stalker to some of the people my friends had on their facebook. I sent the commie a message one night telling him why I was constantly trolling him and that it was nothing personal, that I just wanted to throw some shit around to attract some attention to the ideas they were talking about. He was completely cool with it and I ended up having a better relationship with the people that I trolled after they understood what I was doing. They were just as happy to have more people reading their posts. We both walked away feeling right and we both give a side for people to read and get context for certain complex topics. Sometimes memes just can’t give equal representation to an argument, and that is my mine gripe with Facebook.
What can you do? & How can you take action?
After this, I thought about contacting my friend and asking him to stage arguments on social media to give context to larger topics that are hard to explain. This was the original plan behind the tweet that I sent out today. You can do this on your own trolling individuals, or do it as a group trolling entire communities. We are trolling for the positive here people. Pepe isn’t bad!!
Why Both Sides Are Important
People on the left and people on the right are both angry. I’m going to borrow this metaphor from @social77media on twitter. Imagen people on the right pulling a chain headed by Alex Jones and Trump and people on the left pulling a chain headed by Hillary Clinton and David Brock. In the middle is “The System”. People are pulling at the system from all angles. They are going to pull the system apart. We are in the middle of it. This soft corporate slavery that we have will not continue on into the future. People are making that decision right now all over the world. So pick a side. Argue. Give context for the opposing argument. The worst thing you can do right now is staying silent.