Here to discuss the changing nature of social media, communications and information flows as witnessed during nearly four years of running a Republican-leaning political parody account on Twitter.
During this period I have had the opportunity to communicate with millions of people and develop great friendships with other pranksters, computer hackers, political operatives, real politicians, mainstream and alternative journalists and lots of regular people. What has happened recently in the world of information, transmitted easily via the internet, is nothing short of revolutionary. For the first time in history, we all have a chance to enter the debate with nothing more than a smartphone.
But as far as social media "irresponsibility" goes, that is shared at least equally between the regular people putting out incorrect stories, memes and hashtags and the mainstream media that recklessly (even knowingly) create and push false narratives and false stories. For example, I was falsely blamed as the source of the "Bernie Bros" media narrative (for which Bernie Sanders was forced to apologize on a Sunday show), impliedly called a member of the racist "alt right" (despite being biracial by heritage) and even falsely accused of inspiring a crazed gunman. All of this was utter insanity, but the mainstream outlets get the benefit of the doubt because of their perceived credibility.
In real life, I've received death threats, attacks on my business and reputation, and other "out of bounds" responses from a variety of people, nearly always in response to some full or partial falsehood that started in a major media publication. Trolling, in my opinion, is widespread and comes from many angles. It's an important topic of discussion and I'm happy to participate in a friendly discussion of it.
See you there!
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