- The Messenger is of no importance. The messenger’s job is to deliver the message. The platform is only a means, not the message itself. There was this company. It dominated communications for years. It was untouchable. Even though it was instrumental in daily lives it it didn’t intrude. Still, it was insidious. Absolute power always corrupts absolutely. Pretty poison is still poison.
The large social media platforms have taken a position of absolute power. Facebook, Spotify, Apple News, they all have become components of a single entity, working in concert to control, censor, and remove disagreeing voices from public exposure. They are accepted as the end game as far as influence and purveyors of public opinion. Their online judgement has become internet law with the general public understanding that freedom of speech does not extend into cyberspace. It all comes from a type of back feed of information. It is a perversion of the job of the messenger. The messenger has become the message.
Back in the day events happened. The news services reported the events, often with little or no difference. Somewhere down the road, on the editorial pages, someone would inject their opinion as to why said event happened, and why we should take the causation into consideration. But all of these components were just part of the original message. The media was just the method of delivery. Not the message itself, which was basically autonomous.
Now the message is secondary. The message has become only the catalyst, the advertisement if you will to push the agenda of the new messenger, which was formally only the vehicle to deliver the message. Now the new messenger has become the message itself. Our modern social platforms attach great importance to themselves, but these algorithms are, and always have been only the tools of the messengers, and the tools are of no importance. The message and not the messenger is the reason for communication. The messenger may not even like, or agree with the message, yet his job is to deliver, not critique. A social platform is there to make delivery possible. Not censor or filter the message. We are now in a Bizarro world. Now the hammer has become the nail.
Facebook has 2.23 billion daily active users. The population of the world is 7.442 billion. That means a little over five billion people do not use Facebook. And logic tells us that they’re not all chucking spears in the Outback of Australia, not that spear chuckers are bad people, you understand. Of the 2.33 a vast majority are trading pictures of their dinner, a goodly number do not really log in daily, and yes, a few are using it for news, not counting the space Facebook sells to the Russians to forever perplex Mueller and his Motley Crew.
Did you notice that Facebook tanked last week on Wall Street? I think it was upwards around one hundred and twenty BILLION dollars. Now, I’m just a Simple Ol’ Boy From Austin, but don’t you think that is a bit over valued for a company that was started by a couple of nerds to find dates? Hitler was a big deal, but Zuckerberg could hire him as a butler! If Mark Zuckerberg were alive in 1933 WWII could have been avoided. He could have just bought Germany and turned it into a beer garden. Y’all watch them borders now. Keep your eyes on them “Meskins” and ignore what’s home grown, already here, and constructing an empire right under your very noses!
But that’s not the problem. The problem is that the tail is now wagging the dog. The ”service, ” originally meant for social interaction has now become the interactant. The company that insidiously slithered into the news business, is now suppressing anyone who differs from its view of what the news should and shouldn’t be. The new messenger has become the message, or a reasonable (or unreasonable) facsimile thereof, depending upon how you look at it. From what we are, and what we are not allowed to see based on its arbitrary ”terms of service” arrived upon at some pot party in San Francisco, our new masters/messengers are strangling information like Luca Brasi in a bar. They rose up like a hoard of locusts and flew out of Silicon Valley to silence one man. His sin? He was telling everyone that the locusts exist! They were hidden in plain sight just like that company previously mentioned.
This has happen before. From planes, trains, and automobiles, corporate megaliths have risen and fallen with each generation. ”The public be damned!” railed J.P. Morgan. At least his name survives in a bank. And this isn’t the first time a news organization has moved to seize public opinion. William Randolph Hearst comes to mind. Communications companies have tried this before. Remember what I said at the beginning of this article? There was this company? Congress needs to act. They can’t seem to agree on anything else, they need to get this right! Our very survival as a free nation depends on it. Just because someone’s opinion is different from what is generally accepted does not mean they need to be shot out of a window like Joseph Smith! Congress needs to impose new ”terms of service” upon social media platforms! I’ll even give you the verbiage. ”. . .no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” If it doesn’t, in short order the messenger will count the votes, and not one voters. There was this company. It was affectionately known as ”Ma Bell!”
Bill the Butcher