Many good points raised here in this opinion piece that asks if social media has led to Western Democracy turning on itself…
Is it right to deny people who incite violence a public platform? You bet it is. All free societies do this to a greater or lesser extent.
Open democracies which guarantee freedom of expression have always drawn lines. You cannot attend a civic meeting, or even stand on a street corner, and shout death threats without being arrested. The obvious charge would be of threatening behaviour or causing an affray.
Scarcely anyone would be likely to dispute this. So that’s the easy one. There are far more difficult questions to examine in what is becoming a major political issue for our time.
…meanwhile Blackadder sings the blues…
Online cancel culture is like a “medieval mob looking for someone to burn”, Rowan Atkinson has claimed.
The star of Blackadder and Mr Bean has long advocated for free speech and has campaigned against legislation he believes stifles expression.
…I’m surprised there isn’t an action station petition demanding Blackadder be banned for appropriating a marginalised colour.
Social media algorithms have allowed for a toxicity of debate that is easily manipulated. A cacophony of sweaty truths all screaming for attention and no one listening. Woke Identity Politics activists have seized the joy of having no gatekeepers to express how much they hate white men while alt right Incel Nazi’s have seized upon the joy of having no gatekeepers to express how much they hate everyone else.
Millennial woke culture sees macro violence coming from micro aggressions and piously police those micro aggressions with virtue signalling purity mantras.
Alt Right Incel Nazis see white persecution and create some bullshit replacement narrative to justify their powerlessness and feed that resentment online.
Most people are on social media and most people have a woke activist or Qanon fanatic in their social media feed screaming their feverish truths. While these activists certainly think they are speaking truth to power by endlessly calling people out for breaches of woke mantra or fake news anti Trump lies, to everyone else they are simply toxic.
People stop seeing the political party and only see the activist and in the end proxification means the activist becomes the proxy representation of the Party, and seeing as people have negative feelings towards the proxy, they turn from the Party.
Voters aren’t voting on policy, they are voting on who made them feel resentful on social media!
The political is the personal now means what hurts me personally becomes political.
Before social media activists could only face each other off at protests or through letters to the editor or talkback radio. There were constraints of interaction but with social media there are none and it turns out the freedom to insult and dehumanise others is more addictive than nicotine, alcohol and meth combined.
Wokeness has become a puritanical religion with none of the beauty – it’s not so much the personal virtue signal, we are all dicks at times, it’s the weaponization by algorithms that make it so dangerous and damaging.
The danger of identity politics is that it locks people intellectually into only defining the world through their skin colour, genitalia or sexual orientation – it also becomes toxically subjective and tribal where the only solidarity is with other people who share the skin colour or genitalia or sexual orientation- without shared truths and values, the 1% and their 9% enablers continue to divide the rest of us 90%.
The Big Tech Tzars have manipulated our collective fear, ego, anger and insecurities through social media in a way that has led to the largest psychological civil war ever launched.
This current Western Democracy is late stage capitalism at its culturally most self defeating.
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