As the aftershocks of the Covid-19 bureaucratic response continue to resonate, and the intrigue and the controversy of the election loom, the bigwigs of the social media hierarchy are employing experimental measures to remove the caustic reputation of existing as a deterrent to democracy rather than a feasible option for free expression and dialogue. While the nationwide Super Bowl competitive supercharged election of the eons pits Trump against Biden, or more appropriately Kamala Harris, the obvious question surrounding the apparent affliction of partisan bots meshed throughout the digital platforms dominates the national debate. And the Silicon Valley leadership is well aware of this reality, well aware enough to generate revenue, controversy and the whole notion of “no press is bad press”.
Recycling ideals and concepts from their undergraduate days, the tycoons of the of the social networking leviathans have decided to employ basis economic dogma in creating a laboratory build out of the ether in grasping at the basics of voter psychology, or are they? Reports out of the Bay area state that F***book and subsidiary Instagram, are primed to compensate some of the more polarizing users to abstain from posting in the weeks and the days leading up to the election. For proponents of big data and the subsequent challenge to maintain a suitable level of privacy, the bold move sets to construct a line of demarcation between the AI software modeling of human behavior and the swarms of automated accounts calibrated to act upon a target agenda or a specific point of view. The mass intrusion of detrimental elements on both sides of the spectrum during the last presidential election, is still drowned under tidal waves of heated discourse.
The petty cash collected the behaviorally challenged end users will cost the company $120 per pop, and generate another data trail of intrusion covered by the ambiguous “Terms and Conditions” policies of the community furthering the innovative abuse of big data collection and processing. Techsperts believe that by the disruptive elements voluntarily bowing out from posting, may slightly alter the results of the election through the limited participation of instigators and professional influencers. These are the same group of consultants that have advised F***book and other social media to fog transparency when receiving political advertising orders, a practice which has earned the electronic entities harsh criticism from traditional mediums required by the FCC to painstakingly document who and what is fiscally responsible for campaign and issue spots running on radio, television and in newspapers.
While the hyperbole of the the tech lobby is running wild, the infiltration by foreign espionage bots of coercion are here to stay, unless there is an unlikely complete teardown and rebuilding of the online community template. Though the battalions of political bots probably do not emanate from the bowels of the Kremlin, invasive fake accounts from a diverse geographical expanse have been influential and responsible for the distribution of mistruths and fake news since and before the very public theatrics of the 2016 election.
As a cheap payoff now applies to individuals and AI who stir the pot, will the prolific instigators flanked by 1 million or more followers now demand high leverage payments to graciously disappear from the social network landscape, or will digital entrepreneurs attempt to monetize and exploit the underwhelming gesture trickling down from the tech brass? This could be a game changer, as the weight of the foundational social networking tapestry potentially alters the format for the delivery of content and thus interaction.
The idea that F***book has somehow developed a conscience during the maelstrom of billion dollar fines and unrelenting accusations is laughable, as the company has pockets so deep that any acts of indiscretion are covered by a limitless funding channel supporting the most prolific legal team on the planet. As for the humane element, once an organization has crossed the threshold of existing for itself, any inclinations that pass for empathy or remorse, must be scrutinized with the utmost discretion. The average worker ingrained within the corporate infrastructure is effectively transformed into a drone on all matters that surround basic operations and logistics. This actuality is startling considering 65% of Americans have the F***book app or logon via desktop multiple times per day. Couple these figures with the 45% of US citizens who rely on social media for news, and literally nothing good can come out of this widespread scenario.
Organizational dynamics aside, the latest lame public relations effort by the social media industry to restore some sort of buoyancy to a volatile and failing business model that is constantly being redefined by societal morays, is just a stopgap measure in fighting the perpetual tide of the generations driven by instant gratification and the absence of critical thinking skills. The future does not look bright as the electronic communities constantly attempt to retool and recalibrate in staving off attrition. The fact that the platforms are overridden by toxic elements taking advantage of glaring loopholes and the constant need for software patches and security upgrades, and cannot be controlled by the technological wizards are valid reasons that optimism is slowly gravitating towards the route of the Dodo.
The tech culture is blessed with brilliant, lateral thinking and analytical minds, however, common sense and adaptability outside of the limited borders are not the strong suit of a group of individuals that somehow get things backwards. Hindsight shows that the galactic-sized domains should have probably charged a subscription fee earlier in their development, and paying people and contraptions out of pocket to cease and desist is a screaming sign of desperation and a cry of help, as the insatiable collective interest searches for the next brightest and shiniest thing.
Small amounts of currency being allocated to the totalitarian regime of internet degenerates backing hateful groupthink and pressing a misleading environment of free speech onto a controlled domain of a social networking propaganda machine, fails to hide the inequality that exists in the dissemination of indiscriminate electronic content. $120 is hardly a bargain when objectivity hangs in the balance, and the organic ebb and flow of a fair election is at stake. Donating multifaceted data is the information age alternative of the cash for plasma quick cash venture of yesteryears with the side effects a bit less palatable.
With mail-in ballots an inevitability, the purveyors of social media better have their ducks in a row, or what voters see and experience is not necessarily what they will get. Not that it matters with the billion dollar parachutes available to the tech inner court, but hope is not a dangerous thing, yet.