On Disinfo, Louise Mensch, Our Feeds and Can We Have A Legit 2018 Election?

 I came *this close* to posting this on Facebook without putting it here first. This is a bad habit I have acquired. I don’t get to spend as much time with my friends as I used to. FB designed a platform that lets us see each others faces/avatars and thread quicker it feels more like we are *with* each other than on blogs. I spent many years in Silicon Valley asking WordPress developers and many others to give us better tools for tummeling, for the social connection between us and to allow us to make it. I’ve advocated and tried to show how putting social and emotional goals *first* (and learning the skills to do so) makes all the difference in building more human social platforms that serve human goals and not financial ones of centralized control and manipulation. I have had some influence but the problem still stands. And it’s only increased because it seems the last election was turned in part, by disinfo.
Louise Mensch’s initial post about FISA warrants and Comey caught my eye and she was on it long before the MSM (I just went to her site to find and link it and couldn’t so that’s interesting in itself). It was the first idea I saw anywhere that there may have been more going on with the leaked letter about HRC’s emails than what was on the surface. I spent time in a whole bunch of twitter feeds around her to pick up some ideas and still do some. I filtered out personality as much as possible and read for info and then looked at many other feeds and sources and considered it. I didn’t pass on anything unconfirmed. But I unfollowed Mensch and Taylor on twitter once journalists I have more faith in are more involved and now that the FBI and whomever else (I don’t know) is managing a leak and other strategy. The game is on.
 
I’m generally dubious about anyone who leads with beefs and reactions and name calling. Our media has just been so full of that. It’s toxic to sit in that soup. I appreciate and endeavor to make mindful critiques. But non-stop reaction is not a great idea. 
 
That said I still embrace citizen journalism and parts of the threads between folks around Louse Mensch months ago reminded me a bit of earlier twitter days when twitter was just days ahead of CNN on major revolutions in countries. There is definitely bitterness and reaction beefs from MSM guys too who don’t like being scooped or feel like someone has to pay their regular media dues to be entitled to get cited and referenced.  
 
Also the abject failure of MSM in the campaign was enormous and they haven’t all just earned trust back. All the falling for HRC email crap? Where was all this Russia reporting then? Who looked deeply into Il Dupe’s obvious money laundering then? They liked the easy clicks and misogyny runs very very very deep in our culture.  
HRC literally spelled out the connection between Donald’s campaign and Russia in the debates. Did the mainstream media really grok that and pressure Il Dupe over and over on it? Mhhmm. Even with their own freedom to report in peril!   
 
FB has been almost completely let off the hook by a MSM happy to print puff personality and book pieces (and donations) fed to them by the company even as there has been admission or bragging by Il Dupe’s campaign they ran vote suppression campaigns on Facebook (on which presumably Facebook made money).  So everything we’re reading is influenced by ongoing disinfo.
 
When, as HRC said Il Dupe is Putin’s puppet, 17 ICs are investigating disinfo / hacking the election, what makes people and MSM believe we will have a legit 2018 election? This is not paranoia when it is just listening to investigations. Or perhaps I should say, what makes white people think we definitely will have a legit 2018 election? Because voter suppression has been a tactical strategy of the GOP for a long time. It is worth using this filter in reviewing everything we see in social media feeds and what comes up when. Many very smart people I know don’t grasp (and seem to not want to hear) that their FB feed is not just something they and their friends control.
 
It is important to ask what media you get access to and when you see it and what other motivations there could be. FB and twitter are huge media platforms not held to the same standards or understanding as traditional broadcast and print. We know FB ran emotional manipulation studies. They may still run them. Do they sell this? Our behavior isn’t just affected by artificial news but what we see who we see it from and when. All other media platforms are *dependent* upon them now for traffic. They control, without public accountability how much we see of the news from various sources. Both made our feeds  stop being chronological. There’s now no expectation you’ll see something when it was posted or from everyone your follow or friend. This is true in many countries with many political situations. Disinfo is now a major weapon of the war we are clicking in. We know that FB and many other tech cos willingly sent top execs and gave photo op of legitimacy to Il Dupe when he was in his earliest days and doubted the most. 
 
FB *sponsored* the RNC even after the GOP candidate mocked disabled people said all kinds of racist stuff and intentions, ran pror-Nazi style rallies, was incredibly sexist etc etc. FB has a Board member who is a major advisor to Il Dupe
 
FB and twitter *could have stopped and still could* the effort at autocracy anytime. They haven’t and they haven’t been questioned by other MSM about it much, if at all. These same media who depend on these platforms now to get, lunch so they hand over lunch money.
 
As annoying as it is and as imperfect as this post is I am not forcing myself to go to my website and post it there first. Because I know that without this practice media *is* controlled by these platforms. It was annoying to learn to always put my seatbelt on back in the days when it first became the law. But with enough practice it became a simple, much safer habit. Please do not forget we have the open web.
 
It is openness and real *earned* trust autocracy cannot bear. Autocrats trust no one. They only control. Trust cannot be built by hacking. Trust isn’t grown by twitter and Facebook . These companies rely upon the existing trust in networks you have and the ones you build. They have no accountability to the people using the platforms but to the companies to which they sell data.
Trust demands real openness and owned-up imperfection. There is no quick acquisition technique for real trust. We must practice openness and feel our own power in order for it to operate. Do not just hand it over to a guy who’d like to be an autocract or to some social media platforms that take full advantage of our fundamental hard-wired need to connect socially without doing much to assist it.
Let’s post on our blogs. Let’s take time to get together. Don’t get in the hole. 

Also published on Medium.