Christine Ford supposedly believed she was sending a letter in confident yet her entire Social Media Presence disappeared weeks before her name became public almost as if she and/or the people “handling” her wanted to make sure that you didn’t see her for who she actually is.
Update: Consider the contrast to Brett Kavanaugh who has been an open book for decades in fact it once again reminds me of another man falsely accused a fellow Judge Kavanaugh is well acquainted with :
The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his doctrine
Jesus answered him, “I have spoken publicly to the world. I have always taught in a synagogue or in the temple area 10 where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said nothing.
Why ask me? Ask those who heard me what I said to them. They know what I said.”
One of my theories about the classic gangster television series The Sopranos is that creator David Chase recognized an important truth about the structure of TV storytelling. In normal stories, a protagonist is placed in a situation that uniquely challenges his character so that in traveling through the arc of the story he is transformed in comic or tragic ways. But in a TV series, the hero’s character is never really transformed — because otherwise the series would end — and he is doomed to repeat the same actions over and over without surcease. In short, he is in Hell, like the sinners in Dante’s Inferno who must repeat the same actions forever. Or like Tony Soprano.
Nowadays, watching the news, and reading social media, I feel a bit like Tony Soprano myself. A story breaks — a prominent person dies or there’s a mass shooting, for instance — and the exact same reactions appear on news media discussion panels and social media as the last time such a story occurred. Then these reactions fade away as we grow weary of hearing about the event. Then a similar event occurs and we all become embroiled in the exact same conversation. We never learn. We never change. We just do it again and again and again.
Examples used: the death of Senator John McCain and the Jacksonville shooting, naturally.
We get a few minutes of thoughts and prayers[.] Then the screaming starts over the Second Amendment. The nation’s media can’t even give the families of the dead one lousy day to grieve in peace before they are at each other’s throats.
Then the screaming fades. The news and social media move on. Until the next time, when it all starts again.
Andrew gets to his point and it’s a very good point, but the above preamble leads to mine.
It illustrates why I want to get off my backside and go visit my country and my countrymen. I’m tired of the social media treadmill, but not tired of the connection. So, I figured that it was time to do something that I hadn’t tried before. Personally, I think we could all benefit from some movement. Take that any way you wish.
Four more days and I’m on the road. If you want to help out, go here.
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here. She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.
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First they came for Alex Jones and his Info Wars and so many stayed silent, including too many on the political right. When the same social media organizations come to silence their next right wing website will so may remain silent, or will it be too late? Once censorship like this begins, there is usually no way to stop it. The same forces that are silencing Alex Jones have been gunning for Drudge and Breitbart for years. I fear that it will not be long before those two, and many others receive the same treatment. The best and only time to resist censorship is immediately, when it begins, and to resist it as forcefully as possible. Everyone should condemn this shameful treatment of Alex Jones and his Info Wars, no matter if you agree with what he has to say or not.
I firmly believe censorship, of any nature, is always wrong. I firmly believe everyone has a right to say whatever they want to say, and everyone has a right to listen to whatever they want to listen to. The most common justification for silencing someone is to label what they have to say as hate speech. What exactly is hate speech. you might be wondering? That question is impossible to answer because the concept is way too subjective. Far too often, any ideas espoused by those on the political right are labeled hate speech by those on the political left, and then those ideas are banned.
Big tech’s coordinated purge of InfoWars — which was hit by bans from Apple, Facebook, Spotify and YouTube in rapid succession — did not occur in a vacuum. On this issue, Silicon Valley bowed to CNN journalists and Democrat politicians who ceaselessly lobbied for the site to be censored.
It’s a sign of how the concentration of power in America has shifted from big government to big tech that politicians are now lobbying tech companies rather than the other way round, but that’s exactly what happened over the course of the past few months, as Democrats applied relentless pressure on Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants to censor InfoWars.
It is unsociable that members of the Democratic Party would lobby for censoring InfoWars, or anyone else. This attack of Alex Jones’ freedom of speech was politically motivated.
As you can see in this article by the AP, cries of hate speech were the justification for this purge.
Major tech companies have begun to ban right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their services, reflecting a more aggressive enforcement of policies against hate speech following protests on social media.
Facebook has taken down four pages belonging to Jones, including two featuring his “InfoWars” show, for violating its hate speech and bullying policies. Over the past several days, Apple, YouTube and Spotify have also removed material published by Jones. Twitter, which hasn’t banned Jones, has also faced similar calls.
Does Alex Jones or InfoWars engage in anything that can reasonably be called hate speech? On this I am no expert. Before this story broke I had never been to InfoWars, or viewed any of his videos. This is only because I already have a dozen or so websites I visit daily for my news and political information. I did not have time for another. Based on what I’ve seen in the past two days, I have not seen any evidence, on just InfoWars, of what could be called hate speech. Even if the site was nothing but “hate speech” I would still decry the silencing of his sites as forcefully as possible.
Brent Bozell of News Busters has similar opinions on this. Here is what he had to say in this article:
I don’t support Alex Jones and what InfoWars produces. He’s not a conservative. However, banning him and his outlet is wrong. It’s not just a slippery slope, it’s a dangerous cliff that these social media companies are jumping off to satisfy CNN and other liberal outlets….Social media sites are supposedly neutral platforms, but they are increasingly becoming opportunities for the left and major media to censor any content that they don’t like.
Conservatives are increasingly concerned that InfoWars is not the end point for those who want to ban speech. It’s just the beginning. We are rapidly approaching a point where censorship of opposing voices is the norm. That’s dangerous.
Trust in social media is declining nearly as fast as trust in media overall. There’s a reason for that. And it’s not because social media tolerates voices like Jones. It’s because they don’t tolerate voices like Jones while tolerating voices who are just as bad on the political Left – and they show no signs of limiting their censorship to Alex Jones.
Some Democrats are reported to be working on a plan that would very heavily regulate the internet. The main objective of that would be to completely strangle all forms of communication from the political right. Here are the details. Censorship of conservatives by social media is a major problem but government intervention is not the solution. Government intervention will only make this problem far worse, just like government intervention always does. Government intervention is not called for in this case. These companies are private companies. They have every right to run their companies any way they want to, including censoring others. I have every tight to speak out against this censorship, and all censorship, as loudly as I wish to, and I’m imploring others to do so as well.
I think a lot about whether social media are good or bad for society. I’ve written about how they make it easier for people to form mobs, facilitate the weaponization of emotion, and allow bad ideas to spread like disease through early civilizations.
But I also have to wonder: Are social media bad for our brains? (…)
Of course, this isn’t the first time that technology has changed people’s mental processes. Preliterate people had a lot less access to knowledge than people who can read — but preliterate people tended to have amazing memories by today’s standards. (…)
Now, of course, actual bound books are fading, and people read much more on screens. As a result they tend to multitask — read something for a bit, check email, go to see whether you’ve gotten any “likes” on Facebook, go back to reading for a bit, check Twitter. And social media tend to make that worse by subjecting users to a vast stream of bite-size it. (…)
Deep thinking is becoming less common, and worse, this seems to be particularly true among the academic/political/intellectual class that’s most on Twitter.
Glenn says he doesn’t have a solution to this. I do, but it takes personal will.
I, too, found that too much Social Media was harmful to my concentration process. It was taking me much longer to finish reading books than it used to; sometimes I wouldn’t finish them at all since I frequently use e-books and audio-books downloaded from the LA Public Library. Another symptom is pervasive: many open browser tabs. And this is the worst: the degeneration of my ability to concentrate enough on an idea in order to write about it sensibly and to connect one idea with another. (Thank God that I wrote my novel before Social Media’s ascent!)
The solution is very simple: disconnect for a set and regularly scheduled time segment.
Sometimes, I devote the segment to audio-book “reading” coupled with apartment cleaning; other times to something outside of myself.
I do this about twice a week and I can see the change. Additional benefit: the times when the scatter-brained, emotional poo-flinging hits the brim — even when it’s from those with whom I usually agree – and makes me want to shut it down. Call it a sign of detox.
Of course, I’m paranoid enough to believe that the mass splintering of our collective attention spans is intentional.
It doesn’t have to stay that way, though. But recognizing the problem is the first step.
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here. She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.
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This is the only bit of advice that I have given in all caps but it is about as critical as it gets.
In life there are always frustrations and in the days before the internet people vented in a bar, or to a friend or, as I like to do, take my frustrations out on a pinball machine (nothing better when you need to relax). It can be very healthy to vent one’s frustrations.
However it is not healthy to do so on social media.
Social media is good for many things but venting at a moment in anger isn’t one of them. When angry one is liable to say things that we instantly regret, picture saying or writing said thing on a permanent platform where the world can see it and comment on it, and where it never disappears (don’t think for one moment it won’t get screen caped).
We’ve all made the mistake of saying things in anger to a spouse, don’t compound said error by doing it so on facebook, twitter, snapchat or anywhere else where there will it has the potential of doing permanent damage to a relationship.
Incidentally it goes without saying that this advice is worthwhile for things far beyond marriage.
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SHREVEPORT — As a high school educator I have spent the last several years of my career lamenting the distraction that is social media in the classroom. When I started teaching twenty-two years ago I didn’t own a cell phone. Not many of my students did either and at that time I taught in a school with a fairly affluent student body.
Things have changed.
Schools have struggled with the rapid advancement of this technology, too. Initially, the devices were banned from school, then banned from the classroom, then banned from being visible (“we know you have a phone, just keep it in your purse or backpack so it’s not a distraction”), and eventually we’ve ended up where classrooms are embracing cell phone technology.
There are many ways the phones can be used in the classroom and thousands of educational apps that kids can use either independently or as a class activity.
There is always some district policy on phones, then it filters to the school level, then to the classroom and at that point there is a wide diversity of how teachers deal with them. Some have very strict “no phones!” rules, some have “cell phone jail” systems, and some just don’t care, defeated, and will turn a blind eye to it.
Due to the apps visual nature and high user engagement rate, Instagram is also a valuable social media marketing tool. As of March 2016, 98 percent of fashion brands had an Instagram profile. As of December 2016, average number of image brand posts on Instagram was 27.9 posts per month.
This is not your Snapchat teenager group. As of January 2017, there were 300 million Snapchat users. Forty-five percent of Snapchat users are between 18-24 years old.
As for Facebook, research shows that people use Facebook primarily for keeping up with family and friends. With two billion monthly active users, Facebook is still alive and well.
Twitter is still huge with over 300 million active monthly users, but Twitter’s growth has stalled. Twitter is still very popular for news sharing and for celebrity stalking. With American presidents using Twitter to broadcast policy these days, it’s impossible to deny Twitter’s viability, but there are some troubling signs:
Despite a steady revenue growth – the company’s 2016 revenue amounted to 2.5 billion U.S. dollars, up from 2.2 billion in the preceding fiscal year – Twitter has yet to report a positive net income. In 2016, it’s annual net loss amounted to almost 457 million U.S. dollars.
These are all very big numbers and it’s clear that social media is the new frontier for pushing your brand. I’ve spent some time researching Instagram over the past few days and experimenting with my own feed. I started an Instagram account several years ago only to keep up with photos of my new grandson who lives in another state. I never posted to it and had about thirty followers. I just enjoyed looking at everyone else’s photos. Now I’m engaging with the platform more and the followers are coming fast. (In the Instagram world I’m barely a blip on the radar when it comes to followers.)
It’s easy to see why Instagram is such an engaging platform. Everyone has their own niche and the big brands and celebrities are there as well. Currently, National Geographic has over 86 million followers. Nike is right behind them. Celebrities with huge followings include Selena Gomez with 133 million followers and Beyonce with 111 million followers.
On a more real level, people are using Instagram more than ever to promote their brand. Consider Hilary Rushford, New York stylist and former Radio City Rockette, who decided a day job cubicle wasn’t for her and formed the Dean Street Society which is a motivational company helping people develop the best of themselves, whether it’s personal style, entrepreneurship, defining a business model, or marketing. She has 167 thousand followers and is growing fast.
So back to the classroom: how does this all tie in? The kids in my classroom have never known a life without digital technology. They are totally connected and invested in their phones. Teachers today must find a way to make that work for you instead of against you. It’s hard to engage a kid in the merits of Macbeth when they’re more interested in the latest cat video on YouTube or taking a selfie with a cute Snapchat filter. The reality is there. As educators we have to embrace it and work with it, otherwise you are doomed to one semester after another of frustration. There are many ideas out there to help figure out ways to engage students through social media.
Social media is here to stay, and it’s growing. Make it work for you, whether you’re in the classroom or promoting your brand, blog, or posting a cat video.
A 2010 report that said most journalists used Twitter, Facebook or blogs as vital news sources didn’t receive much public attention, but it noted what has become a huge shift in how the mainstream media operates.
The survey – conducted by Cision, a public relations firm, and Don Bates of The George Washington University’s Master’s Degree Program in Strategic Public Relations – said journalists viewed social media as an essential tool for gathering news, but they were aware the information they found could be unreliable.
No kidding. Although social media hadn’t yet degenerated into the stinking dumpster fire it is today, reporters and editors eight years ago knew most of the tips they found online had to be independently verified before they could be reported. Based on the embarrassing number of “fake news” stories in the past year, that no longer seems the case.
I’ve always been particularly suspicious of Twitter as a news source. In days gone by, cranks and fanatics had to stand on a soapbox in a public park to spout their views. Thanks to the internet, these zealots don’t just have a megaphone but the equivalent of a cable TV network to spread their warped and often insane ideas around the globe.
Yes, online communities can be marvelous creations where like-minded folks can share concerns, offer each other support and pass on expertise to those who need it. But cyberspace also provides a place where lunatics and perverts, who would be powerless in the real world, can band together and become a force in pushing their agenda.
While their overall numbers may be small, crazies can make a splash when their tweet catches the eye of a reporter who decides to turn it into a news story. That’s especially likely to occur if the tweet wins support from others in the form of re-tweets and likes.
And that’s my problem with reporters using Twitter as a news source. In a country of more than 325 million people, is it truly newsworthy if several thousand fools like a tweet? And I’m being generous – I’ve seen tweets that drew the attention of only a few hundred people developed as news stories.
One of the websites I’ve found helpful in following Twitter’s influence on the media is twitchy.com, a conservative site founded by Michelle Malkin in 2012. Twitchy re-posts threads that develop after a leftist make a tweet that incites withering responses from right-wingers. It’s usually very amusing.
But Twitchy does more than that. It offers a path into Twitter itself that non-tweeters like me can use. I quickly discovered that tweets by celebrities and pundits often collect only a couple hundred combined re-tweets and likes. Even President Donald Trump, who has 45.6 million followers, sometimes gets fewer than 100,000 combined responses and re-tweets to his posts.
It bothers me when something that might interest so few people can result in news stories that get national or even international attention. It’s almost as if news coverage in the pre-internet age could be decided by what appeared in letters to the editor.
Indeed, Twitter, Facebook and other social media can generate real news, but journalists have to exercise discretion before they sit at their keyboards and tap out their stories. And while the internet has made the process much easier, nothing beats old-fashioned shoe-leather doggedness when it comes to accurately reporting the news.
Happy New Year! May you enjoy joy, prosperity and good health in 2018.
Every day there’s a new online outrage. This probably started eons ago — Internet time scale — but since the onset of the Social Media Age a little more than ten years ago, outrage has become its own reward. Watching it is a guilty pleasure – voyeuristic, one might say – but when one is other-directed, it’s essential to pull one’s self away from it for a specified period of time. For some, that specified period is forever. (As I recall, the late and much-lamented Steven Den Beste opted out of the pre-Social Media blog game after his fame as an essayist had nearly reached legendary status. There was a huge amount of poo-flinging even back then. I know.)
Don’t worry, I’m not considering this, though I have many times in the past. I like Social Media but I also think it’s detrimental for those who never learned long-term, pattern-based thinking. But for those who feed on emotionalism, especially outrage…
Social Media can be compared to a tropical storm which is capable of ramping ramp up to a Category 5 hurricane within seconds. To state the obvious, Cat 5 hurricanes can leave massive physical destruction of lives and property in their wake.
What lies in the wake of Social Media storms? Too often, truth is the casualty. Seemingly insignificant nuances of a story – on which knowledge of the truth often hinges – can get left out in the rush to weigh in … and to condemn an “evil-doer,” especially if that “evil-doer” is the “wrong” color or of the “wrong” political party.
And, sometimes, for the necessity of the maintaining the storm’s power, nuances big and small are ignored or discounted on purpose.
Reason: because destruction is the goal.
I’ve intentionally left out examples here, because as I began to compare this phenomenon to a hurricane, I felt that each specific example would require its own post. I’m sure that someone else has already undertaken this task, but I want to give it the Baldilocks Treatment. Look for Part Two on Tuesday.
As one of the biggest marketing tools we have, social media is being tapped by companies large and small. It is one of the most effective ways to ‘collect’ followers while building a brand. One US digital marketing company, Single Grain, regularly explores new and innovative ways to tap the power of social media, but what they keep coming back to is the example set by our Commander in Chief, Donald J. Trump. Perhaps, looking at his history of Tweeting might provide some insights into what the average consumer is looking for and how to make use of that when building a brand. Let’s take a look at POTUS.
He Is Our POTUS After All
Whether you love him, hate him, or simply don’t care much about him at all, the one thing you have to admit is that President Trump made the history books during this heated and often controversial campaign. What the masses saw was a man who, for lack of a better description, opened mouth and inserted foot. He’d be out on the campaign trail or watching the nightly news on the day’s events and suddenly he would be Tweeting his thoughts. This endeared him to some, but others were disgusted by his actions.
But the one thing that Single Grain wants to point out here is that he sure grabbed the media’s attention! The race is long over and he is now the President of the United States, our POTUS, and still, he’s tweeting away as if he were just another blue collar worker waiting for the weekend and a couple days to relax and enjoy. Unfortunately, that isn’t one of the luxuries our 45th President gets to enjoy. As President, his week is seven days long and he’s on duty 24 hours a day. So what can today’s business owner or administrator learn from all this? And, more importantly, how can today’s digital marketing company cash in on his example?
Consumers Want ‘For Real’
What most people respect, even if they don’t like our president is the fact that he is ‘real’. What you see is what you get and that is something today’s consumer wants. They want ‘for real.’ They don’t want a brand built on a Madison Avenue marketing campaign that is far from the reality of what that company is and what they have to offer. Today’s consumer wants a brand they can engage with and it is why so many people hit ‘like’ or ‘love’ on product pages.
Millennials are all about being in touch with their feelings and they want to deal with brands who have a social message. While you might not agree with President Trump’s politics, he has a message and he’s only too glad to share it. He will Tweet his heart away and that is something that just might set the stage for marketers going forward through the next four years. Want to get your message out there to a group of people you will find on social sites 90% of their free time? Learn to social market and you’ll have learned the real message behind those Tweets. Trump trumps social media and that’s a lesson well learned.