Another day, another social media giant crushed by declining user growth, which will only accelerate next quarter, particularly in the US where it matters. Twitter's stock tanked by over 20%, joining Facebook in the bursting of the Tech Bubble 2.0.
Although growth has been plateau-ing for the past several years, it's really the post-2016 election climate that has driven so many users off of the sites, especially liberal women, who are the most sensitive to political messages they disagree with (most likely of all demographics to block, unfollow, unfriend, etc.).
It's more than just the content of the messages themselves, though: merely seeing someone's avatar and name reminds you of who the person supported in 2016, even if the content of their post is totally apolitical and mundane. "Another great day for grillin'! -- Margaritaville1957" "Yeah, and we ought to throw your ass on the grill for putting Putin's puppet in the White House -- Nursety Woman [blue wave emoji]".
And then there are the indelible associations that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram have with the most devious psy-op in world history, having been the sites via which the Kremlin tricked all those white working-class Obama voters in the Rust Belt to vote for the anti-NAFTA candidate. Indeed, who knows if those psy-ops ever ended? If the Russians are hell-bent on our destruction -- AND THEY ARE -- then they're only going to intensify their hijacking of America's favorite social media sites.
On social media, you just never know if you're interacting with a Russian-programmed bot, a real-life Kremlin apologist, or one of Putin's unwitting dupes -- who is nevertheless spreading enough desinformatziya to bring down the global order.
What's the only solution, then? Log off of social media altogether.
For, social media are defined by the activity of individuals voicing their views to a broad audience, and sharing the views of others. This makes it impossible for someone who doesn't want to come into contact with triggering views to simply avoid them. There are too many sources of triggering views, and too many channels through which they could reach a user -- sharing, re-tweeting, signal-boosting by liking, and so on and so forth.
But the Russiagaters cannot simply abandon political discussion entirely. They want to find refuge, not wander alone through the wilderness. They want a trusted specialist to make their shell-shocked brain feel better, not rely on their own personal rationalizations. And most of all, they want to make sure that the space is fortified against any brain-hurters from outside. They don't seek an open forum, but a closed therapist's office. They don't want a dispassionate debate moderator, but an "I'm there for you" advocate-doctor with a good bedside manner.
So, while Russiagate has emptied out social media, it has only swollen attendance at the digital therapy wards of liberal cable news shows, all housed in the hospital of MSNBC. According to the latest ratings, it is the only cable news channel to show growth in viewers year-over-year, while their competitors are declining, across all time slots. The doctors at CNN are too clinical and matter-of-fact in their bedside manner, turning off liberal patients, and would-be viewers of Fox no longer need their own nursing since their party has returned to power.
Unlike social media, no outside voices will ever reach the viewers on a cable news show. Producers may occasionally excerpt what their ideological enemies are saying, just to rile up the viewers for a brief moment before dropping the hammer on them. But by and large, content is strictly controlled by a handful of censors at the top level. And if an anchor ever tried to include outside voices, their show would get slammed in the ratings as viewers felt their brains hurt, disciplining the anchor back into the approved narrative framework.
Complementing the maternal care-home is the paternal justice-enforcer. Liberals want not only someone to nurse their wounds that have already been inflicted -- they want a big bad dude to protect them from the other big bad dudes who might harm them all over again in the future. Thus, Russiagaters are now the most staunch defenders of the FBI, CIA, and NSA, and they want these feds and spooks to appear every day on their cable news panels to reassure them that the men with guns are looking out for them.
The rise of the propaganda nexus -- the intel agencies interfacing with the news media -- is partly a supply-side phenomenon, as the manufacturers and the distributors of current affairs narratives have integrated their informational supply chains. But it is just as much a reflection of recent changes on the demand-side, as liberals with PTSD from the 2016 election have fled the relatively open forums of social media, and sought refuge in the closed-off hospital wards of cable news, where their only visitors are government agents who provide further emotional comfort with updates on the progress of hunting down their assailants.
The social media sector will collapse for good if it tries to imitate the business model of the propaganda nexus, or allows itself to be acquired outright by them. There already exists a mature industry of providing ideological safe spaces for politically triggered groups, and social media's interactivity from all users cuts directly against the goal of safe spaces.
No amount of shadowbanning from Twitter, blocking from Facebook and YouTube, or de-ranking from Google will ever match the total command-and-control insulation provided by the producers at centralized news outlets (whether TV, print, or online). The producers of news media -- whose content is not user-generated by a mass audience -- just prevent outsiders from having a voice at the outset, whereas social media has to allow everyone a voice, and then hire 10,000 censors to monitor and flag ideologically problematic posters, or rely on faulty algorithms for censorship.
There is no surviving that battle, so social media had better just count the shell-shocked liberals as a lost cause, and preserve an enjoyable forum-of-users experience for the vast majority who don't need Mommy Maddow and Daddy Mueller to comfort them every night before bedtime.
Isn't the SWPL chimpout not unlike the Religious Right dust-up that happened in the mid-80's, then gradually faded away in the mid-late 90's?ReplyDelete
There's some uproarious non-sense from the 80's and early 90's on YouTube. Stuff like He-Man toys being "Satanic", with the (charlatan) talking heads being deadly earnest. No humor or self-awareness, at all.
'Satanic Metal' from '83:
'Escaping Satan's Web' from '87:
Most unintentionally funny news reports about metal:
It dawned on me that the Religious Right chose to blame the cultural excesses of the Me Generation on "Satan", instead of on the shift to me-first ism that people really became aware of in the mid-80's, though we'd been building toward it since the mid-70's. They sensed it happening, but often didn't understand why it happened. Similarly, the shifting of the climate towards collective action and nationalism that began in the late 2000's, after the '08 crash, wasn't widely appreciated until 2016 (Brexit and Trump). And much like how the Religious Right missed the target by a mile, the Neo-liberal Left is now also missing the target by a mile.
Great shifts in culture and politics don't happen because of some unseen evil hand guiding things for 10+ years, then suddenly becoming apparent. Strikingly, Jon Chait in recent analysis of Trump-Russia theories, mentioned (but didn't fully accept) the meme that Trump has been in cahoots with Russia, or some similar malevolent force, ever since he publicly spoke of politics in the late 1980's.
Social conservatives badly played their hand in the 1980's, and found themselves a laughing stock 10-15 years later (amongst Gen X-ers and Millennials who hated the arrogant Silents and Boomers who did nothing to stop the debauching of our finances and economy, the Religious Right never had anything bad to say about trickle down economics). Likewise, the neo-liberal Left is too retarded to realize that they horribly refused to address the problems exposed by 2008, and as such today's young generations (Millennials and Z) are furious with Boomers and X-ers many of whom may perceive today's problems but have no understanding of how they came to be or how to fix them.
The Religious Right is now almost completely irrelevant (since they proved to be of no use at stopping the me-1st train), and so too will the neo-liberals fade away because they were too clueless to hop on the collective action train.
The RR of the 1980's and 90's widely differed on the "inciting incident" of Satanic cultural liberalism. Depending on who you asked, it happened in the 60's, or 50's, or 30's, blah blah blah. It's Hollywood, or it was that pesky FDR, etc.ReplyDelete
In the same vein, today's neo-liberal Left, in the face of growing terror that they're losing their grip on at least 50% of the population, is now filibustering anyone who will listen (usually their fellow "centrist" libroids) about the inciting incident of today's trends. Was it uncontrolled internet activity? Fox News/Rupert Murdoch? Steve Bannon and Breitbart? The nests of traditionalist/nationalist dinos strewn about the landscape, who can't accept that the world "isn't theirs" anymore? Was it "impressionable" youngsters not being taught to respect Clintonite values in the 2000's and 2010's, ala Boomers and Gen X-ers not being taught to "respect" The Bible (the only true source of wisdom) in the 60's and 70's? Ought we go back to Rush Limbaugh and the America of 'Falling Down', the angry white male movement and the "culture war" of 1990's talk radio?
"merely seeing someone's avatar and name reminds you of who the person supported in 2016, even if the content of their post is totally apolitical and mundane. "Another great day for grillin'! -- Margaritaville1957" "Yeah, and we ought to throw your ass on the grill for putting Putin's puppet in the White House -- Nursety Woman [blue wave emoji]"."ReplyDelete
Hahaha!!! I'm totally slayed! And "Nursety", yuk yuk yuk yuk....
"all housed in the hospital of MSNBC. According to the latest ratings, it is the only cable news channel to show growth in viewers year-over-year, while their competitors are declining, across all time slots."ReplyDelete
Didn't you predict awhile back that MSNBC would do well, but CNN would flounder? Would be great to revisit in light of current events (Russiagate).
Here are the posts you're talking about :ReplyDelete
It was not a difficult call to make, since the trend has been under way for some time. CNN's tone is so clinical and informational (just the facts), they have steadily been driven out by the purely emotional Fox and MSNBC, since both of those competitors started in the '90s.
One thing I missed, though, was that MSNBC would jump on the Russiagate bandwagon. In the pre-inauguration stage, it was mainly CNN and BuzzFeed who were hyping up Russiagate, the Steele dossier, etc.
Someone would have to look back, but I don't think MSNBC's panels were over 50% feds and spooks at the time. CNN has had a stronger affinity for involving the CIA, since both are interested in spreading the Establishment's preferred narrative. MSNBC was more for tribal validation of the liberals, not necessarily pumping out intel propaganda.
In fact, someone on Twitter posted an old clip of the Maddow show from around 2009, and she's blasting the neo-cons, who she calls by that name. Why doesn't she do that anymore, when it would seem to be even more critical, given that her party is out of power and needs to blast the in-power neo-cons even more?
It seems like the intel agencies hijacked MSNBC a little later than CNN on the Russiagate matter. Things were so topsy-turvy post-election, it might have taken them awhile to form a team, send a delegation to Phil Griffin, bring the hammer down on them, etc., to get them to not only play along, but allow a fed-and-spook boarding party to take over their behind-the-scenes programming and on-air talking heads.
Or maybe it took until the General Flynn firing for the producers to pounce on Russiagate as an opportunity, or until Trump fired Comey, or something else. I'm not clear on when they flipped.
At any rate, they've wedded the propaganda and tribal emotionalism approaches that used to distinguish CNN and MSNBC. Now MSNBC is your one-stop-shop for both. It's intel agency propaganda not to "correct the record" or "state facts," but to provide the narrative skeleton on top of which the tribal emotional flesh will bring the conspiracy theory to life.
Sandernistas wising up to being next targets of de-platforming :ReplyDelete
"I despise Alex Jones, but maybe banning people from social media on political grounds is a bad precedent."
Replies focus on advocacy of violent or similar tactics, but it's not so much the tactics that the Establishment will de-platform them over.
The whole status quo defense is not about non-violent vs. violent tactics, but about how the society is run. Advocating a radical up-ending of the neoliberal order is what gets you in the cross-hairs of the de-platformers.
First for the Trumpian populists / nationalists.
But now they're turning to the Bernie crowd, too. They were left alone at first for being fellow liberals on social-cultural issues, but those are no longer the main issues. It's class, empire, etc. And suddenly the Establishment believes in horseshoe theory -- especially after Ocasio-Cortez upset Crowley. Both policy extremes must be avoided.
Add in the Russiagaters' new spin on the sins of the Kremlin -- before it was just hacking the election to benefit Trump. Now it's broader, to encompass the Bernie supporters as well -- Russia interfered to sow discord among Americans, make them distrust their institutions, hate the Establishment, and so on. And now Bernie is just as much a beneficiary of Putin's propaganda as Trump has been.
And therefore, the rose avatars must be shadowbanned just as much as the Pepe avatars.
During the shadowban on cons, the Chapo crew were as well, from what I observed anyway.ReplyDelete
I don't have an account, so I type the person's name into the search bar, it auto-completes with a list of possible accounts, and I click on the right one. It's always worked for anyone who isn't shadowbanned, and whenever someone does get shadowbanned, it doesn't work. This has happened over multiple cycles of banning and un-banning.
I've never had a problem with lefties being shadowbanned, but some days or maybe a week after the Trump supporters were silenced, I noticed the same thing when I began typing in "cushbomb" into the search bar. Even typing it all the way, it came up empty. Typing "Matt Christman" also failed to give the right choice. Ditto for Will Menaker and ByYourLogic.
Twitter must have added Bernie-type words to its red flag list, as it were.
Strangely, Virgil Texas made it through the banning algorithm. He must not post enough red-flag words.
I could still read their timelines, just had to hit "enter" after putting their names into the search bar, and click on their handle in the results. That's inconvenient and indirect enough to qualify as marginalizing / shadowbanning.
At any rate, once the Trumpers were unbanned, so were the Chapo guys.
Michael Tracey was also affected in that way.
Daniel Larison's account still does not pop up when you type in his name.
Especially when the 2020 primary season starts heating up, expect more of these de-platforming tactics to target the Bernie revolutionaries.
The elites' may see a theoretical colonization of Russia as away to solve their overproduction issues. A reconstruction and occupation of Russia will create plenty of opportunities for elite aspirants, whether it be as a military officer in an occupied Russia, as an entrepreneur creating a new energy industry around Russia's natural gas reserves, lawyers needed to help create a new democratic government for Russia.ReplyDelete
Liberal arts majors will also be able to get in on the action. You'll need plenty of social workers to help rebuild the country and educate the Russian people. Anthropologists and sociologists to do bureacratic research to help win over "hearts and minds", etc. This may be one reason why lifestyle strivers are pro-CIA and pro-invading Russia all of a sudden.
This same idea may have been what the elites' had in mind when they invaded Iraq. I can remember my freshman year of college, Mideast affairs courses had invaded the liberal arts curriculum. In one course, I made some negative comment about Halliburton, and the professor said "Be careful, you may work for them some day", haha.