A woman professor, Sophia A. McClennen, laments the legacy media’s loss of its monopoly on the production of propaganda.
She claims that alt-right Internet memes, such as the Trump Tweet showing him body slamming CNN, are dangerous. That’s pseudointellectual nonsense coming from a woman professor who will probably receive a raise and promotion for writing this shallow piece.
I’ve excerpted about a third of it.
Excerpt from Salon
Forget fake news — alt-right memes could do more damage to democracy
As BuzzFeed notes, there is “a sprawling new universe of far-right internet personalities who have aligned themselves with a ‘new right’ or ‘alt-right’ or ‘new far-right’ political youth movement in the US.” This group is interested in moving their trolling into the real world.
Whether on Reddit or YouTube or another form of social media these alt-right rants share a few key beliefs. As Malia Rolt explains in a piece on YouTube and the alt-right, those posting right-wing hate speech “all believe that the media is untrustworthy and political correctness has gone too far, and see advocacy for equality for all as a threat to freedom of speech.”
The issue of freedom of speech and social media, of course, is a tricky issue since all of the platforms have rules and restrictions over the sort of content they allow. And yet, there is some evidence to suggest that the application of those rules may indeed favor aggressive speech by the right more than from other quarters.
For instance, a report from ProPublica suggests that Facebook’s internal rules for censoring hate speech is biased to favor both the right and celebrity users. In contrast, “Facebook users who don’t mince words in criticizing racism and police killings of racial minorities say that their posts are often taken down.”
They compare two posts. One by a U.S. congressman who wrote a post after a terrorist attack in London that called for the slaughter of “radicalized” Muslims. “Hunt them, identify them, and kill them,” declared U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, a Louisiana Republican. “Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.” And one by Boston poet and Black Lives Matter activist DiDi Delgado: “All white people are racist. Start from this reference point, or you’ve already failed.”
Delgado’s post was removed and her Facebook account was disabled for seven days. Higgins’ post was untouched. Such practices certainly suggest deep political biases in the ways that Facebook censors users.
All of this combines to suggest that, while each social media platform has a different identity and different content rules, there is increasing evidence that right-wing hate speech is growing in power and force across the major social media platforms and into everyday life.
What this week’s Trump Twitter war against the mainstream news media teaches us is that CNN should be worried — but not about Trump’s attacks, rather about the fact that an increasing number of U.S. citizens are forming their political ideas based on alt-right rants, and not on anything that even remotely resembles information.
Microchip has been banned from Twitter over 100 times. He’s far from alone. Recall that MILO was permanently banned and has never come back. Microchip gets back on via trickery until Twitter discovers he’s back, when they ban him again.
The point is that the rules do not favor the alt-right. Another point is that the media is obviously not trustworthy.
McClennan’s essay starts with the wrong premise. The only way to break the media monopoly is through alternative media, citizen journalism, taking matters one Tweet, comment, and blog post at a time.
The “fake news” phrase has come into widespread use for a reason and if the professor doesn’t acknowledge that, she’s either stupid or lying.