There’s a fairly decent chance that none of us are truly contemplating the absurd size and scope of social media, particularly as it pertains to political leanings in this great nation.
We have to remind ourselves that the internet itself is still a fairly new invention, that didn’t reach many homes until the late 1990’s, just twenty some years ago. Back then things weren’t as sophisticated as they are now, with websites of that era taking on a much more utilitarian tone. Take Fox News as an example, in this fantastically dated screenshot from their homepage in October of 1996:
Twenty two years later and we find ourselves scrolling and scrolling through a plethora of information on their website, with a whole lot more than 4 stories to choose from, and live video instead of live audio being the mark of sophistication.
To truly appreciate the swing in technology that the internet has made over the last two decades, let’s take a quick look at the auto industry.
The first American made car mass produced in 1908 by the Ford Motor Company. It looked like this:
Then, a whopping 22 years later, Ford had really upped their game, bringing us this gem:
By comparison, 22 years ago the internet loaded top-down and it would take minutes for even the most tame photo of Kathy Ireland to load onto your cathode ray tube Compaq monitor. Now, anyone with a cell phone can broadcast live video to an infinite number of people without a license, an education, or approval from anyone.
It took until 1973 for the automobile industry to invent the sunroof.
What we have in the internet is an all-too-powerful tool that, in reality, we still know very little about the effects of. Thanks to websites like Wikipedia, we are virtually omnipotent beings at this point, which has sped up our technological advances exponentially. Those of us who may not have had access to certain educational resources can now learn, for free, on the internet. There are truly no longer any excuses for sitting back on your laurels and collecting government dollars.
But, with great power comes great responsibility, (at least according to whatever superhero movie that line hails from), and the folks over at Facebook are blowing their chance to make this next evolution in human interaction a positive one.
Instead, Facebook, (and Twitter and Google), are in a prolonged campaign to squash any opinions that differ from their liberal roots. This means that, for all intents and purposes, the world’s most prolific communication channel is fully biased against at least half of the U.S. population. Obviously, this is affecting our national political psyche, which will, in turn, affect the outcome of every election from here on out.
And what happens when Facebook abuses their users, as they did in the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal? Mark Zuckerberg takes off this psychological crutch, er, I mean “hoodie”, and heads to Washington to testify over a data breach that never should have happened.
In that testimony, Zuckerberg didn’t close the door entirely on the idea that Facebook would someday be regulated by the U.S. government, but will this affect the site’s politic bias? That’s where the true issue lies.