by Kelly R. Smith
Social networking sites have come to have a huge impact on the lives of most everyone who is connected, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown. In the grand scheme of things this digital behemoth is a relatively new phenomenon. And yet we have come to take it all for granted and until recently we assumed it was all benign. Perhaps it is time to rethink that.
Too much time in front of the computer monitor can be detrimental with respect to lessening face-time in human interactions. On top of that, the amount of blue light emitted from the screen has a negative effect on our eye.sight. Even cell phones and pads present these problems.
Facebook Betrayed Our Trust
Facebook is the big guy on the block. It hosts 2,230,000,000 monthly visitors. In 2017 it generated 40.65 billion dollars in sales/revenue. Friends, this is big business. Very big business.
These are not just the culmination of small-time hustles. As we recently found out, in 2014, the U.K. affiliate of U.S. political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica employed a Soviet-born American researcher, Aleksandr Kogan. His task was to gather profile information of Facebook users along with what they chose to “Like.”
All told, 300,000 Facebook users, some of whom were paid a small amount, downloaded Kogan’s app, called This Is Your Digital Life, which presented them with a series of surveys. Kogan harvested data not only of those users but also on their Facebook buddies. As it turned out, 87 million users were misled and their personal data was exposed. The data was never meant to be used for “research” purposes as claimed. It was used to influence politics.
Alex Jones of Infowars Banned
Alex Jones is the head honcho at Infowars, a commentary/show known to advance some kooky conspiracy theories as well as hawking supplements. He is not a dangerous fellow and not many people take him seriously; they see him as the internet version of the National Enquirer.
However, the problem is that Social platforms such as Facebook, Apple, Spotify, and YouTube are decidedly left-leaning and saw him as a threat. They have banned him for violating their hate speech policies. Fair enough.
Where things get dicey is when the shoe is on the other foot. Not a thing is done, for example about the YouTube video of Maxine Waters inciting mob violence targeting conservatives and those working in the Trump administration. Tell me how this is not a hate crime? We could go on and on about the double standard, even to the point where the coddle Democratic Socialism.
YouTube Puts its Boot On Dennis Prager
Do you know who Dennis Prager is? Besides being a syndicated radio talk host and best-selling author he is also one of the world’s leading scholars on the Torah (the Old Testament for you gentiles). He also produces a collection of videos called PragerU. These videos are a combination of opinion, historical facts, and corroborated research.
Although these videos are not hateful nor an incitement to mob violence as Maxine Water’s are (her liberal rantings are sacrosanct to YouTube), YouTube continues to censor more and more of this material because it is (hold your breath) conservative.
This is how Ben Shapiro explains it, “For more than two years, YouTube has continued to restrict access to more and more of PragerU’s educational videos – simply because they present a conservative point of view. There are currently over 80 PragerU videos that are restricted – more than double the amount of restricted videos since filing our lawsuit against YouTube. Silicon Valley giants like YouTube continue to censor the ideas they don’t agree with. They promote their Leftist ideology and restrict conservative speech.”
I don’t really care which side of the fence you are on; is this really the America you want? Where some millionaire purveyors of social media (that makes them a BIG part of the 1%) decides what we can see and what we can’t? Not the government, not your HOA, not your mommy and daddy, not Antifa, but citizens like you and me?
Social Networking Driving Political and Cultural Change
Given the way the social networking machine silences the right and hands a bullhorn to the progressive left, it is not a huge leap to conclude that they are using their platforms to effect political and social change.
Journalistsresource.org tells us, “The largest and perhaps best-known inquiry into this issue so far is a 2012 study published in the journal Nature, A 61-Million-Person Experiment in Social Influence and Political Mobilization, which suggested that messages on users’ Facebook feeds could significantly influence voting patterns. The study data — analyzed in collaboration with Facebook data scientists — suggested that certain messages promoted by friends “increased turnout directly by about 60,000 voters and indirectly through social contagion by another 280,000 voters, for a total of 340,000 additional votes.”
This is what it has come to. The Democrat party is floundering and without fresh ideas and fresh faces they feel compelled to use the censorship vs promote game to keep some skin in the game.
The conclusion? Social networking sites have an agenda. Do not be fooled into thinking that they are providing some kind of altruistic public service. They serve their masters on the left and sheeple are buying into it.
#metoo? Google Coddles Perps
And now, slightly off topic, Google’s troubles are expanding. is alleged to be rewarding Andy Rubin, the creator of Android in the wake of some sexual shenanigans. As reported b y the New York Post, “Google is about to pay Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, the last installment of his $90 million exit package — a golden parachute he received despite his being credibly accused of coercing a female employee into performing oral sex, it was revealed on Thursday.”
The Post goes on to say, “In addition to claims the legendary software developer coerced a colleague to perform oral sex on him in a hotel room, Rubin had multiple extramarital affairs with colleagues — and had bizarre “ownership relationships” with other women to whom he paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to an explosive report.
Google is shelling out a $90 million exit package to Rubin — despite the fact that the search giant had investigated the woman’s claims and found them credible, two company execs told The New York Times.”
Now I for one remain skeptical of the #metoo movement, if only because in many cases it is a political tool rather than a vehicle for justice. To wit, consider the testimony of Dr. Ford during the Justice Brett Kavanaugh nomination hearings for the Supreme Court.
In addition to none of her witnesses remembering what she remembered, it now turns out that she also perjured herself on that “two front doors” thing. Under oath she claimed she had the second door installed during a remodel to deal with her Kavanaugh trauma but it turns out that the door was there long before that. It was a separate entrance when part of the home had been used as office space and apartment rental.
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About the Author:
Kelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.