With democracy destabalized to the point of civil war, in 2021 we really need to ask ourselves who or what is responsible. It’s not politics, it’s not even a Banana Republic President, it’s really the amplifiers, echo bubbles and algorithms that allow America to get hacked that are to blame.
Donald Trump’s use of Twitter is not actually to blame. How social media amplification works is akin to the persuasion of joining a cult. YouTube, Facebook Groups, or Twitter feeds, it’s all very reinforcing.
It’s social engineering at scale. These apps are designed to to do this. That’s what makes them so effective at coercion — where echo bubbles and siphoning can occur at the ideological root levels that can change behavior.
On January 6th, 2021, protesters supporting President Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol, causing Congress to suspend proceedings to confirm the election of Joe Biden as president. They did it due to his speech at 11am the same morning.
But for years Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram have been dividing the country, with algorithms recommending groups, echo bubbles, and siphoning how people get their information.
It’s been an experiment in behavior modification at scale. People listen to social media, they don’t listen to the news. It’s 2021 and we have to think of how Twitter is responsible for what America has witnessed today.
Protesters freely roamed through the Capitol complex, including the Senate chamber, where one man stood on the president of the Senate’s chair and shouted, “Trump won that election!” While democracy has shown itself to be under siege in a nation teetering on the verge of civil war, it’s not Trump’s battle, it’s how Facebook and Twitter have been used to rally public opinion to the point of chaos, stupidity and the creation of a divided states of America.
It’s Russia and China infiltrating the stability of the American people and its most prized institutions and historical system. Twitter and Facebook don’t just have moderation issues, the entire algorithmic system is vulnerable to abuse, inauthenticity and deceit.
Trump, during a rally earlier outside the White House, had encouraged thousands of supporters to march to the Capitol to protest what historically have been ceremonial proceedings. Trump has been great for ratings on TV, but also for Facebook Groups and wildly popular Twitter Presidential Tweets.
Social Media Needs to be Reformed
Twitter and Facebook have weaponized America, not politicians or extremes or anarchists. Normal Americans have been turned against their own country using behavior modification on these channels with their algorithms and retweet mechanisms. Of course Silicon Valley won’t take any responsibility, but that’s the reality.
We can call the Trump rioters Anarchists or Proud Boys, it doesn’t matter. Twitter and Facebook stoked this division of the United States, not one person. The weaponization of social media has been going on for years, and is easily manipulated by foreign actors.
This has been engineered to discredit democracies. Twitter and Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, should take some responsibility. It’s like a prolonged cybersecurity attack via social media.
Donald Trump was critical of the media all the while becoming a big influencer on Twitter. He did this while inciting violence at the center of U.S. politics. The U.S. Capital being stormed by people weaponized on social media isn’t democracy, it’s what happens when algorithms are allowed to run free manipulating people.
When you have 88.7 million followers of amplification, what could go wrong?
Welcome to America, where social media companies have profited from populism and division, where social manipulation at scale has been occurring for years, leading to this moment. Countries all over the world are condemning what occurred in Washington today, and Russia and China will use it to their advantage on the geopolitical landscape. But Twitter and Facebook are laughing all the way to the bank when, in fact, they are complicit in the destabilization of democracy as we know it in America.
Let’s face it, social media has to be reformed.