”It’s time that platforms come together to make it more difficult to manufacture a crowd.”
I love it when my wife sends me articles. She is well read, and tends to look at things from a more down to earth perspective than I do.
Because I often talk about Steemit and how there is no censorship, this mainstream article became a ripe discussion in our home.
The quote above is from a Wired magazine article that discusses the role of social media in culture, and how Russia and ISIS use it to build their following.
What I found most interesting, aside from the quote, is the desire of this writer to see social media regulated.
How Far is Too Far?
Maybe it is my worldview, but I had a distinct feeling reading the piece that because people are not smart enough to think for themselves, we need to censor what they can see on social media.
The journalist traces the story of how ISIS was able to garner a worldwide following by posting their content across the inter webs.
Since ISIS created thousands of dummy accounts and used that influence to steer the conversation on social media, a lot of their content went viral.
Much like Steemit has their voting bots, Facebook and Twitter allow content creators to boost their material to the trending page. ISIS utilized this service to ensure that their message reached as many people as possible.
I do not disagree with this information. Renee did an excellent job researching and communicating how organizations like ISIS are able to share their message. What I do disagree with is Renee’s conclusion. Just because a message is spread far and wide, does not mean it will become influential.
We receive influence in our lives every single day. Whether it is from friends, what we read, listen to, or choose to engage with via some other means.
Some of those influences we choose, and some we don’t - we don’t always have the choice to not walk in on a conversation.
What we do posses is a mind and a will to either allow outside influence to shape us, or to not.
I don’t know about you, but I would rather hear what a person has to say, and choose whether to engage with them, rather than not hearing them at all.
We walk a dangerous road if we begin choosing who has a voice and who doesn’t.
I am curious to hear what your thoughts are after reading Ms Diresta’s piece. Is regulating social media a good thing if we keep radicals like ISIS from growing?
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