Amerika

Are Facebook and Twitter Enemy Combatants?

In typical American cowboy fashion, the United States government backed the recent coup of Venezuelan dictator Nicholas Maduro, aligning with the tens of thousands of Venezuelans who declared opposition leader Juan Guaido the new man in charge.

Rich in oil but plagued by a communist epidemic, Venezuela is ripe for the picking and only a stone’s throw from ultra-nationalist Jair Bolsonaro’s new Brazilian republic. The unavoidable collapse in Venezuela is an obvious opportunity to pick the bones of another unstable nation of resources in the post-monarch world and deal another major setback to socialism and those who seek to impose it.

But a strange topic was trending on Twitter Wednesday night that was against the best interests of the nation: #WeAreMaduro was the #2 hashtag during the primetime hour of 8:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time. This is nothing new as for many years, Twitter has provided aid and comfort to the enemy of the United States. This was most prominent in the platform’s heavy hand in cultivating the brutal terrorist genocide machine that was ISIS:

One of ISIS’s more successful ventures is an Arabic-language Twitter app called The Dawn of Glad Tidings, or just Dawn. The app, an official ISIS product promoted by its top users, is advertised as a way to keep up on the latest news about the jihadi group.

The app is just one way ISIS games Twitter to magnify its message. Another is the use of organized hashtag campaigns, in which the group enlists hundreds and sometimes thousands of activists to repetitively tweet hashtags at certain times of day so that they trend on the social network. This approach also skews the results of a popular Arabic Twitter account called @ActiveHashtags that tweets each day’s top trending tags. When ISIS gets its hashtag into the @ActiveHashtags stream, it results in an average of 72 retweets per tweet, which only makes the hashtag trend more. As it gains traction, more users are exposed to ISIS’s messaging. The group’s supporters also run accounts similar to @ActiveHashtags that exclusively feature jihadi content and can produce hundreds of retweets per tweet.

As a result of these strategies, and others, ISIS is able to project strength and promote engagement online. For instance, the ISIS hashtag consistently outperforms that of the group’s main competitor in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, even though the two groups have a similar number of supporters online. In data I analyzed in February, ISIS often registered more than 10,000 mentions of its hashtag per day, while the number of al-Nusra mentions generally ranged between 2,500 and 5,000.

ISIS could have been defeated four years earlier with one simple move: shutting down Twitter. Four years of beheadings, burnings, drownings, town massacres, rapes, child slaves and child soldiers could have been avoided had we taken away their greatest weapon, which was on our very soil. But instead, we chose to hand them this social media weapon of mass destruction that would prove better at censoring American Republicans than it would Islamic Terrorists.

But as if aiding a genocide regime that happens to be at actual war with our nation was not enough, let’s also consider the impact social media has had on Americans overall. Is it good? Does it make us stronger or weaker? Is it to our benefit or to our detriment? With the aid of recent medical studies we finally have an answer:

A much-higher rate of depression in girls is closely linked to the greater time they spend on social media, reported The Guardian. Online bullying and poor sleep are the main culprits for their low mood, a new study reveals.

Social media is also closely associated with poor sleeping habits, especially among 14-year-olds showing clinical signs of depression. While just 5.4% of girls and 2.7% of boys overall said they slept for seven hours or less, 48.4% of girls with low mood and 19.8% of such boys said the same. Half of depressed girls and a quarter of depressed boys said that they suffer from disrupted sleep “most of the time”.

This is no surprise to the parents of Silicon Valley. In fact, it has even been recently revealed that many of the employees at these big tech companies are outright banning their own children’s use of the very platforms they work to impose on the rest of us:

“You can’t put your face in a device and expect to develop a long-term attention span,” Taewoo Kim, chief AI engineer at the machine-learning startup One Smart Lab, told Business Insider. A practicing Buddhist, Kim is teaching his nieces and nephews, ages 4 to 11, to meditate and appreciate screen-free games and puzzles. Once a year he takes them on tech-free silent retreats at nearby Buddhist temples.

Former employees at major tech companies, some of them high-level executives, have gone public to condemn the companies’ intense focus on building addictive tech products. The discussions have triggered further research from the psychology community, all of which has gradually convinced many parents that a child’s palm is no place for devices so potent.

“The tech companies do know that the sooner you get kids, adolescents, or teenagers used to your platform, the easier it is to become a lifelong habit,” Koduri told Business Insider. It’s no coincidence, he said, that Google has made a push into schools with Google Docs, Google Sheets, and the learning management suite Google Classroom.

Imagine a medieval kingdom at war with evil sorcerers who walk in the cloak of the night. Imagine these sorcerers conjuring an addictive zombie potion that slowly but effectively poisons whomever ingests it, causing them to castrate themselves, commit suicide, develop sexual dysfunction, commit mass murder, and ultimately become prisoners of their own thoughts and unable to speak or even move properly.

Now picture the sorcerers dumping this poison into the water streams from which all the people of the kingdom drink. Now imagine the lords of the kingdom selling protection to the sorcerers and encouraging them to continue dumping this poison into the water supply. This story is a true one. America is the kingdom, the sorcerers are the big tech companies, the poison is social media, and the lords of the kingdom are the senators and congressman that continue to loin their pockets with big-tech campaign contributions.

But wait — there’s more! For as if we did not have enough reason to detonate a nuclear bomb over Silicon Valley, let’s also consider the fact that the lords of big tech are now looking to outright aid competing nations should our politicians dare to stand up to them:

For all their sanctimonious claims about “connecting the world” to make it a better place, nobody can spread disinformation like Silicon Valley.

Case in point: their shrieking that any regulation could weaken them and cause China to become the technology leader of the world.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seeded this idea when he told Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), that Chinese internet companies are “a real strategic and competitive threat that American technology policy should be thinking about.”

America, in its late-empire stage, can escape a crippling civil war, government collapse, and foreign invasion by executing Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, and all of the physically and mentally deformed faces behind Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, and the like. But instead, our bought-and-paid-for politicians are perfectly content with letting big tech subvert and holocaust the citizens of our nation.

Social media companies are enemy combatants and should be declared so. They should be given military trials behind closed doors, and the Saddam-treatment should be dished out like candy. But unfortunately, have a democracy and its corrupted senators and congressmen hampering our president’s ability to deal with this problem swiftly and effectively. And thus, America is doomed to the fate of Rome and all of those who were invaded from within.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

|
Share on FacebookShare on RedditTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Recommended Reading