Can We Blame The Internet For Political Polarization?


It seems logical to blame the internet for our growing political polarization. Some blame “fake news” shared on Twitter and Facebook for the outcome of the 2016 election. And we know tens of millions of Americans get their news from social media.

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WWW: The Latest Democracy To Fall Victim To The Rich And Powerful

If I asked you what it takes to get a popular web site onto the internet, what would you say? If you’re like most people, you’d probably say something about creating a site, then sprinkling relevant keywords strategically throughout (a.k.a. “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO)), and then, as people discover the site, and your audience & traffic builds, your site will move up to the top of the search page rankings making you a popular web site.

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Social Media, Religion, Politics – Just Chill Out

Maybe it comes from the fact that I’m not religious. Maybe it comes from the fact that I don’t have deep-seated beliefs that I take “personally” when remarks I make are challenged. But, some people just need to chill out on Facebook, on Twitter, or whatever your social network of choice happens to be. If I challenge something you said in a Facebook status update, it’s a confrontation of that particular thought, not the entirety of you as a person. But if this “thought” is of religious nature, even if disguised as political, that’s where we get into the territory of the deep-seated belief. And maybe I just can’t understand how one would react in this situation because, again, I don’t have deep-seated beliefs on the level of religious dogma. And let’s not mistake this with ethics or morals, because they are not the same things. Your “beliefs” are not directly equitable to what society may consider ethical or moral in the aggregate. We need only look to Islamic extremists to drive this point home. Anyway, do I have a point here? Not really, other than people need to chill the fuck out when an opposing viewpoint “intrudes” into their social media territory.

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Facebook, Food Stamps, Politics, And The Megaphone Of The Uninformed

When you use Facebook as a megaphone to pronounce condemnation of people who happen to own certain material possessions while simultaneously using food stamps, you perpetuate a stigma that already exists. You are simply pouring salt on a wound. You are standing on your soapbox and demeaning a system that helps people in need, while disparaging people you don’t know, to make a political point, about something you evidently are not informed about.

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Facebook Friends: The Obama Derangement Syndrome In This One Is Strong

If you are on Facebook, and you have “friended” a few people, chances are there’s “that guy” who regularly shows up on your news feed. You know who I’m talking about, the staunchly conservative fellow who isn’t so much conservative as reactionary when a Democrat is in the White House. And you’ve probably been sucked into their conservative reactionary vortex once or twice while thinking, “The Obama Derangement Syndrome in this one is strong.” But even with this realization, you probably still couldn’t help yourself. We’ve all been there.

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Bill Maher: Why Has Hate Become The National Pastime?

During the “New Rules” segment of Real Time, Bill Maher pointed out all the hate on Twitter, chat rooms, and online comment sections, and showed us examples of random hate comments directed at celebrities like Zach Braff and Jonah Hill. “Abraham Lincoln said Americans were a people with malice toward none, and charity for all. But if he had said it online, the first comment would be ‘blow me, Jewbeard’.”

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Prison-Industrial Complex: The Magic Thinking Of America’s ‘Tough On Crime’ Reactionary Types

I recently participated in a debate on Facebook about criminals and American incarceration. The debate sprang from an article about a repeat offender, committing yet another robbery only weeks after release from a nine-year sentence. My takeaway from this conversation is that America’s prison-industrial complex will not change as long as most Americans are passive on this issue. And that’s because there are a fair number of people in this country who have a philosophy that one should die for the crimes he or she commits, particularly if a repeat offender. In their minds, the only requirement that need be met for a death sentence is their sole judgement that this human being no longer deserves to live, and will never be a useful member of society.

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