To all Tweeters, Facebookers, YouTube, etc. please stop sharing obvious Russian propaganda. Just the other day a friend, I might add an intelligent, thoughtful friend, shared a link to a video of a well-spoken black woman extolling the virtues of the Republican Party and demonizing Democrats. Not that I’m taking sides on either party. I espouse to the independent view but I had to comment that I would NOT share this video because it was probably brought to us by Putin and paid for in rubles. Don’t laugh.
It’s not a joke. No matter how we look at it the timeline from the initial information on goofy hat wearing Carter Page to the wire taps to Flynn to Manafort to Gates, to Trump Jr. is convincing evidence that our democracy is under attack. It’s not a far stretch to see how social media is being used to spread some truth but a whole lot of lies and misdirection. There are so many lies that even Snoopes can’t keep up. AND every time you click and share the obvious propaganda you help the Russians out.
Now I know most of my FB friends are not supporting the Russians nor the attempt to overthrown our government but they are contributing. When I think of all the links I clicked because I didn’t want HRC above Sanders, I realize some of those links, particularly the ones from Julian Assange, were supporting the “lock her up” movement. Personally, I didn’t think Hillary deserved prison.
The point is that clicks and shares count. It is estimated that the Russian social media attack cost a whopping $1M a month. That’s a lot of rubles but certainly worth destabilizing the former greatest enemy of Russia and the oligarchy, the United States. I say former because right now I’m not so sure we are really fighting a takeover. It seems the Republicans are aiding and abetting. From his own mouth Trump wants an autocratic government with him at the head of the snake. Just this past week at CPAC Trump was crowing about how many executive orders he has signed to overturn various Obama sponsored agenda items. He has also complained about the fact that he isn’t able to do exactly what he wants all on his own. That’s a dictatorship.
If that doesn’t bother you what about the Trump plan to have his own spy network that only reports to him. (http://bit.ly/2ARi0qG). Our current U.S. is looking pretty Kafkaesque. Every day I watch the news and think there is no way one could even make this stuff up. Sadly. it’s not made up. What is even sadder is that the rabid right that wants America white again are willing to go Red to get there. (They probably have no idea that Pushkin was black or that matter are not even acquainted with the gentleman.)
For those of us who want to keep our democracy and not aid a take over by a foreign power I ask, stop clicking and sharing. Clicks and shares matter. According to Indiana University Research, “Currently, bot accounts controlled by software make up a significant portion of online profiles, and many of them flood social media with high volumes of low quality information to manipulate public discourse.”
Social media strategist Kylie Bartlett points out,“There needs to be a bit more curation so our feeds aren’t full of fakes.” She also suggests that users should also spend more time scrutinizing information they shared online, and unfollowing users who were spreading misinformation. I’m not going to unfollow my friend but I will comment that I will not share obvious misinformation no matter how outrageously funny I think it is because someone out there on my Facebook page might actually take it seriously.