I use social media regularly and think it can be a useful communication tool, particularly for far flung friends and family. But there are many downsides and a major one is how undiscriminating many people are in what they like and share. I now avoid challenging the obvious crap but today made the following post.
It seems that CLICK BAIT RECRUITERS are increasingly targeting those with left political leanings. I received an email from something called the World Socialist Educators Website Newsletter about freeing Julian Assange. The rhetoric about this and other issues was consistent with my political views. But, when I checked out their website and Facebook page, it was clear to me that it is a ‘Faceless Website’, similar in construction to those that sprout conservative rhetoric. I suspect it is a group of people harvesting followers for their own ends.
But I wrote to them on Messenger to check this out, several days ago, with no response, meaning that my suspicion was probably correct. No matter what your political views are, avoid sharing things just because it fits with your opinions. If you have something to say, say it. Sharing others’ extended Facebook posts and Memes is manipulation that we all fall prey to at times. The motivation for this may be as simple as someone wondering how many clicks and shares they can get. But, as technology becomes more sophisticated it is also a way that people can capture ‘door opening’ information about you and your preferences.
Please question everything before you click and share. We all need to think critically and not just swallow the pap fed to us. Of course cancer is a challenge and heart breaking. Of course, changing the name of products is ridiculous (not something I’ve ever heard particular groups ask for). Of course children with disabilities, chronic illness and people with other challenges should be encouraged and accepted in society, but do you really think that a husband or parent or whoever would say, “you’ll get no shares of this” or similar. Let’s starve these practices of oxygen, particularly where the clear aim is to promote division, distrust and hatred.
If you do really think something is worthy of sharing, please fact check it first. If the issue is that important to you, then that few minutes is well spent.
Anyway, here is the message I sent that got no response. Should I ever hear, I’ll post the response, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
“While I support freeing Julian Assange and the principles outlined on your website, I have noticed that clickbait recruiters are expanding their tactics from the right to the left. A feature of this is faceless websites. Your website has no people attached to it. I will be discouraging others to affiliate with you until this changes. Facebook pages and websites filled with rhetoric are suspect. If I do not hear back from you or you write that individuals do not want to open themselves to criticism my suspicions will be confirmed”