Social Media Evolution

Social media keeps changing. Twitter, Facebook, and others are increasingly hostile to those that express conservative views and even actively suppress them. Google Plus has announced it is sun-setting the consumer (personal) pages. It looks like Facebook has won that war for now. But it’s not over at all.

I think with all the negativity that exists with the Social media giants and their security issues, data breaches and mining concerns, and their ability to limit speech by those with a different political agenda, will be their undoing.

Blogging is on the rise and continues to grow daily. New blogs rise up everywhere on every imaginable topic. And I also think we will see a return to the internet forums as well.

I personally have several of each. And I am a member of several more on top of that. My wife checks different blogs every day on topics that interest her.

Of course the difficult task is finding these blogs and forums that are within your varied interests. Internet searches can give bad results or no results depending on the search engine used and the keywords themselves.

But they do exist. And if they don’t, they can easily be created by someone who wishes to bring it life with their passion. Fortunately technical wizardry is not required to do this in today’s age.

So find us. Join us. Create your own and invite us. Let the word of each be spread far and wide.

Social media is coming to an end.

I’m Not Alex Jones, But I Stayed at a Holiday Inn Express Last Night

Over the past 48 hours, Alex Jones has been “memory-holed” by most of the Internet for what has been called hateful and dangerous speech. Instead of listing all the social media sites that no longer carry Jones or Infowars, it might be easier to count the social media sites that do. And so far…it looks like it’s just Twitter.

Jones has taken his situation in stride, meaning he’s trying to figure out how to blame it on fluoride making frogs gay or something. One of the things his supporters and he have said is the removal of Jones from social media is a violation of free speech. It’s even inspired a hashtag, #WeAreAlexJones.

Although recent events are more disturbing than a Jeffrey Dahmer cookbook, it’s not really a free speech issue. The First Amendment starts with five words that often get overlooked in discussions like this: “Congress shall make no law”. As hard as it is to accept, social media sites have the authority to decide who gets to use their service and can punish people who don’t abide by the rules they set. Congress didn’t pass a law, so the First Amendment doesn’t play a role here. (Oddly enough, the same argument can be used against the ACLU when they try to ban school prayer, but that’s a blog post for another time.)

That’s not to say Jones and his followers have no legal recourse. It can be argued those social media sites are not applying their rules fairly, which opens the door for Jones and company to argue they are victims of disparate treatment. Although this concept is usually reserved for the workplace, the fact Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and Louis Farrakhan among other groups that have shown as much if not more hate have yet to see even an iota of the punishment Jones has experienced in the past two days means there is evidence of the rules not being enforced evenly.

It may be a long shot, but it’s a stronger argument than the free speech argument is.

There may be others (after all, I’m a blogger, not a lawyer), but we should avoid invoking the First Amendment when defending Alex Jones and Infowars. But there are two things that I do know. First, this is a great opportunity for social media sites looking to attract users to make a splash and get people away from the big ones. And second, Alex Jones, as bat-crap cray-cray as he may be, can and will be turned into a martyr for those who already don’t like existing social media sites. That is a really dumb idea because it creates a situation where people who wouldn’t give Jones the time of day can defend him against what is a gross overreaction to someone who is at best a minor problem…and be absolutely right to do so.

Is Alex Jones being made into a free speech hero worth looking like hypocritical partisan asshats? Social media may need to answer that question sooner rather than later.

If I Were Google

The tech world got rocked by a scandal within Google starting with a 10 page memo written by a male employee regarding a desire to start a conversation about…treating everyone not as labels, but as individuals! The horror!!!! How dare a white man suggest people are more than identity politics!

Google, being the rational and totally non-SJW company they are, fired him for a violation of their code of conduct, which has set off a firestorm among those of us who like free speech and free thought. Whether this is a free speech issue is subject to debate, but what isn’t up for debate is the regulatory complaint being taken against Google for unlawful termination of employment. Ouch.

If I could offer a bit of advice to the Google overlords (and they would listen to it for longer than the attention span of a ferret on espresso-flavored crack), it would go a little something like this.

1) Take the loss, kids. How can I put this lightly? You screwed up. Bad. I’m talking Dennis Rodman going to North Korea bad.

2) Hire him back yesterday. See point 1. The first step to righting this Titanic of a mistake is hiring back the guy you fired, and if I could make a suggestion, give him a big pay raise and a public apology.

3) Take his concerns seriously. Regardless of how you feel about what was said in the memo, there is a reason he felt the need to speak up about it. It’s going to take a bit of self-reflection, but if it makes for a better workplace (and I believe it will), it will be better for you. Not to mention, it might go a long way towards getting your regulatory and possible legal woes dismissed.

4) Change. The extent of the change will depend upon a) step 3, and b) how much you want to keep your jobs.

5) Open your minds to new ideas. And this is going to be the hard one for you Googleftists, but it’s going to be the best thing you can do. The tech industry is all about innovation, and making this change would put you out in front of most of the tech companies out there. And that will buy you a lot of good will.

And you won’t look like total asshats in the process.