The well-documented saga of the largest social network in the solar system not Cantonese, Hindi, or Mandarin based, is the classic metaphor of profitable corporation reaching a critical mass and self-imploding from within, as the bureaucratic tides of ideology target all counter viewpoints in creating an entity which resembles the hive mind mentality of an anthill.
Twitter, long suspected of employing suppressive measures on account holders dispersing conservative content, a practice known appropriately as “shadow banning”, though the process lacks the artistic license and subtlety of “shadow puppets”, was outed by Vice.com, a truth finding organization which in no shape or form leans to the right, in a story published Wednesday, highlighting the deliberate hands-on censorship of mainstream Republican organizations. The instantaneous backlash to the reality that another who’s who of social networks is engaged in unethical and egregious behavior, which basically violates the founding tenets of a decentralized and self-policing internet, caused the company to resort to a desperate retreat in releasing a claim that there was in fact a “glitch” and a proper solution was employed in making everything right with one push of a button. As F***book endured and deservedly so in setting the unorthodox precedent of alienating a significant portion of their user base within a few pic0-seconds, reducing the damage is just not that easy.
In a truly unpalatable and horrific amateur display of plausible deniability being playfully kicked around the set of “The View” in the form of Bill O’Reilly’s crown jewels (Joy Behar clanks them off the left upright with the gusto and showmanship of a young Efren Herrera), the multiple chaotic phases of the FB “trending news” feed ultimately led to the corporation abandoning the app entirely. Not even the termination of a human news team for the sleek and allegedly unbiased concoction of powerful algorithms could completely obscure the distaste by Zuckerberg for any perspective right of center, or differing from his own warped world view.
And now the vortex represented by the cute avatar of a songbird for concise to inane information packets perpetually streaming on the screens of devices and desktops in a colorful waterfall of text, emoticons and images, will have to answer for its own version of badly behaving bots programmed to deliberately bury conservative content somewhere within the vast reaches of the platform and cloud converging server space.
Leaders at Twitter say that the issue is a microcosm of weeding out fake news and misleading content in the battle in ultimately protecting the end user. In other words, information disseminated in relation to Republican politics or the reference to the White House is apparently false and systematically categorized with tweets that explore fringe conspiracy theories, like the contrails of international jetliners possibly influencing women to exclusively shop at megachain superstores and opting for careers outside of the STEM field, while craving frozen yogurt.
While the company claims that it fixed the bug, and at least a temporary reprieve has been granted on some of the more prominent conservative accounts, just how far the originator of destroying language goes in actually addressing the self-afflicted problem, is not just an issue for the birds. The tech world may be innovative, but there exists a prevalence of programmed intolerance, and reason is left to rust and decay.
Read the Vice.com story here.