Sunday, December 31, 2017

Social Media Has Become a Central Tool for Governments to Shape Political Events

(Robert Jonathan)  Among the social media platforms, Twitter has developed an outsized influence on the media and political echo chamber in the U.S.

Related: Is Social Media Driving Americans Insane?

Source - NaturalNews

by Robert Jonathan, December 26th, 2017

When an event or a term starts trending on Twitter, it almost instantly makes national, if not international, news headlines.

Unfortunately it has also routinely devolved into a forum for virtue signalling by Trump-hating members of prominent media outlets as well as the social justice warrior contingent. As an aside, it’s ironic that so many male liberal journalists, who generally function as stenographers for the left generally and feminism in particular, have been caught up in sexual harassment scandals. Many of these same reporters and pundits — who Instapundit‘s Glenn Reynolds has often described as Democrat operatives with bylines — blasted President Trump for his alleged sexism and criticized the GOP for its mythical war on women.

In the absolute monarchy of Oman, however, Twitter has supposedly become a way to empower citizens in the way they interact with and get action from the government, according to a blog post by the University of Hertfordshire in the U.K.

Following the Arab Spring, citizens of the Persian Gulf state of Oman became aware of Twitter’s potential and decided to adopt it as a platform for addressing social problems, rather than instigating revolutions… Twitter becomes a two-way communication channel for working towards social change, not just a one-way broadcast for promoting celebrities or for delivering government pronouncements… Our research revealed that Omani citizens found Twitter to be “empowering”… Use of Twitter has led to greater transparency and accountability in public sector departments and swifter resolution of issues, which citizens are happy about. 

Women do not have full equal rights in Oman, and apparently some kinds of personal travel are frowned upon in that culture, but “Twitter also allows women to get their issues resolved without visiting government department offices,” the post added.

While Twitter in the U.S. can be an effective tool for communication of various kinds and across the ideological spectrum, it has been accused of de-verifying, suspending, or shadow banning Trump supporters and others on the right and throttling tweets and hashtags that don’t fit within a leftist, politically correct worldview. At the same time, it seldom if ever suspends liberals when they engage in hate speech or bullying. Twitter is poised to implement new rules on December 18 meant to sweep out abusers and hateful, threatening conduct, but could also be used to suppress legitimate and peaceful political dissent. Given these parameters, some present and former Twitter users are gravitating toward free-speech alternative

In the controversy/hysteria over the net neutrality repeal, avid Twitter user Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman, has pointed out that the Twitter playing field is not level for conservatives, the Inquistir recalled.

[W]hen it comes to an open Internet, Twitter is part of the problem. The company has a viewpoint and uses that viewpoint to discriminate… despite all the talk about the fear that broadband providers could decide what Internet content consumers can see, recent experience shows that so-called edge providers are in fact deciding what content they see. These providers routinely block or discriminate against content they don’t like.

As Natural News readers are well aware, Facebook (which some detractors refer to as Fakebook) also has a history of blocking pages and news feeds that don’t conform to its progressive agenda. Google has long been suspected of manipulating search results for various reasons, political or otherwise, and its YouTube subsidiary has also been accused of arbitrarily demonetizing the channels of provocative conservative and libertarian commentators in what might amount to a kind of economic censorship. This type of interference could get even more intense as the 2018 midterm elections grow nearer and Silicon Valley-backed Democrats seek to take control of Congress away from Republicans. (Related: Read more about the Big Social agenda at

In this environment, there are increasing calls for the influential Big Social platforms to come under a form of regulation roughly equivalent to what applies to public utilities because of their monopolistic control over online traffic.

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