Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

By @anarchyroll

Do social media platforms or the people running them have a responsibility to the public or to the republic? Is it in the nature of the services to spread modern-day propaganda which has been repackaged as fake news? Are these mediums a cause for negative events or are they simply mirrors and microphones? Are they bringing the worst out of people and society? Or are they just the biggest magnifying glass in the history of the species?

Are these services really that much different from the mediums that came before them? Radio and television have the exact same purpose as social media services… sell ads and the information about the people who consume them.

There is no moral compass at play with Facebook, with Twitter, especially with Google or Instagram or Snapchat. They are capitalist enterprises with one reason for existing, to make money. So if one or all of the companies get offered a lot of money from a foreign country to run political ads during a presidential campaign, why wouldn’t they take the money and put the content on their platform?

Oh, the information was blatantly false? It was straight up propaganda from a foreign government? Yeah okay but, they paid up front. Money talks. In America the Supreme Court has literally said money equals speech.

If anyone thinks Facebook or Google has a moral compass or conscious, try and find out exactly what they’re doing with all that personal metadata they mine from everyone who uses their services and/or apps.

It is not just a little too late to have the “ so social media companies have a responsibility” argument. That ship sailed once the collective population decided we didn’t want our phones to be phones anymore. Once the companies realized they were able to tap into our collective dopamine addictions by turning what used to be a portable audio communicator into a slot machine that can fit into a skinny jeans pocket, responsibility went right out the window.


Do casinos have a responsibility to their guests other than making them enjoy losing their wages? Of course not, the whole business model is built around taking money out of people’s pockets and into the casino safe. Well social media is the casino and our attention and personal information is the cash.

On top of all that, Facebook (which owns Instagram), Twitter, and Snapchat are publicly traded companies. So quite literally, their only responsibility is to maximize profits for their shareholders. Their collective interest in the health of democracy only goes as far as the stock market opening and closing on time.

Americans love social media. We also love seeing powerful people get yelled at in public by elected officials. Dogs and ponies are adorable, who wouldn’t want to see a whole show of them? Well we got the best of both worlds last week when lawyers representing the big social media players went to capitol hill and got a verbal spanking from some very angry public officials.

It was modern American politics personified. Verbal spankings, non answers, legislation proposed but not supported, visual aide charts, legal jargon, and pledges to do better in the future. The vitriol directed at social media is just a reflection of our collective anger at ourselves. We’re angry for thinking social media would be a tool for good and not just a tool to make money.

We’re angry at ourselves for being so readily fooled by fake news that we’re all to easily manipulated into believing are the real thing. We’re angry at ourselves because we thought the internet, and the web 2.0 that social media represents would make us more informed and more united. Instead it’s deepened our divide and by putting our preexisting confirmation biases on technological steroids.

Our elected officials can yell at high-priced lawyers all they want. Public berating is much easier than putting regulations into place. It’s easier for Facebook and Twitter to higher more lobbyists than more moderators to discern what is being put on their platforms, by whom, and for what purpose. It’s easier to apologize later than to do the right thing in the moments of choice. We know this. That’s why we’re not angry at social media for what happened during the 2016 election season, we’re angry at ourselves.



by @anarchyroll

Remember the #CancelColbert fuss? Yeah, me neither.

What do the Tooth Fairy, Twitter Activism, and the happy women from tampon commercials all have in common?

None are real. They are all constructions of our imaginations, advertising campaigns, and ego not necessarily in that order.

The difference between Twitter activism and actual activism is the difference between playing sports video games and playing sports. One can be done sitting on one’s ass, sober or stoned while the other requires physical movement, discipline, practice, organization, and the concentrated effort of a group of people to manifest something into existence in the physical world.

Twitter activism is a joke. Even real activism that was spurred by Twitter like the Egypt uprising has proven to be futile as what we have seen in Egypt for the last three years is the same as the last 40; military coup, military rule, repeat.

Activism also requires competence and a depth of understanding of something outside of reflecting anger and self loathing. Things that the founders of the #CancelColbert movement clearly lack. Not to mention being devoid of what satire is in theory or in practice.

The apology that the #CancelColbert crowd is looking for doesn’t come from the entertainer. They’re looking for apologies from;

  • The mean kids on the playground in their youth.
  • Insensitive coworkers during the adolescence.
  • The douchebags at their local bar from their early adulthood.
  • They have internal wounds and want someone to apologize to them, kiss them on their head, and tell them everything is going to be alright.

Well it’s not Stephen Colbert’s problem that these people were the victim of racism at some point(s) in their lives. Colbert says provocative, shocking, and controversial things in every segment, of every show he has done since he was a correspondent for the Daily Show.

The world can be a cold, hard, unforgiving place. More people have been wronged than allowed to live a pain-free existence. But pounding the social media firestorm drum isn’t going to make anything better. You want change? You better be prepared to spend all of your leisure time for the next half decade minimum trying to enact change one millimeter at a time in the physical world.

140 characters and a victim mentality? Neither mean shit to anyone of influence in this world.

Especially not to one of the funniest people in the history of television. Colbert didn’t give an inch, nor should he have. In the end all the #CancelColbert hullabaloo did was give him free publicity and advertising for his show. Two things which in turn help to insure that Colbert won’t be canceled any time soon. More publicity means more viewers means more advertising revenue means more Colbert Report for years to come.

So thank you #CancelColbert Nation. You have done your part to keep Colbert on the air, great work!





by @anarchyroll

I used to be an antisocial type. I can still remember my friend Sam’s girlfriend at the time nagging me nonstop until I created a My Space account in 2006. I did it to get her to stop asking me about it, but I am glad she did.

Antisocial is just a modern, glossy word for coward. Too scared to put oneself on the line outside of their comfort zone in front of strangers for fear of being judged or exposed as something other than the image they have crafted of themselves in their own mind/ego.

My social muscles were undeveloped. I am still catching up to my peers all these years later. Making new friends, business contacts, and romantic partners has been at a minimum half again as hard as it is for the average able minded person. Social media has helped with this. It is like giving someone a digital business card for your personal life. That is what I always enjoyed about social media and still do.

I started making friends late, I started dating late, I joined My Space late, I joined Facebook late, I joined Twitter late. I joined Instagram the day it became available for Android. I had a friend who introduced me to Instagram at her house one night after her Oscar’s party. I scrolled through it on her iPhone and remember talking about how the app looked like the future of social media. She agreed, saying she barely used Facebook anymore after getting on Instagram when it was still #iPhoneonly.

It turns out we were both right, and weren’t nearly the only people thinking those thoughts. Social media is now completely dominated by pictures and video aka photography. If you aren’t actively taking and posting pics and videos on your social media account(s) you have already been left behind and are merely a bystander rather than a producer in the social media world whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not.

The social stars are  Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, Vine, Flickr, Pinterest, and the latest and greatest darling of the World Wide Web 2.0, Imgur. I thought Imgur was merely the Reddit GIF maker/host but it turns out they are much more. Bloomberg/Businessweek wouldn’t do a story about them if they weren’t.

77 million unique visitors per day uploading 1.5 million image files while spending an average of 10 minutes on the site when they stop by. Those numbers mean they’re the current HBIC in social media and may be next on the queue to be bought by Yahoo. Imgur is pronounced Imager. There’s no A in there for the same reason so many apps end in just R instead of ER. Imgur is also ground zero for cats taking over the internet in the last two years along with YouTube.

The evolution of social media from text to visual images and video was inevitable. As we went from newspaper to radio to movies/television. Social media becoming dominated by pics & video is also being mirrored in SMS. As text messages are already a relic in the era of Snapchat, KIK, and WhatsApp. Human beings prefer visual stimuli and that is why animated emoticons shall inherit the Earth.

eanda logoby @anarchyroll

Twitter went public this week, successfully, take that Facebook! Sure the second day saw a slide of 5.8% but that is barely a drop in the bucket after going up by 73% in its first day of trading.  The lesson is clear, have Patrick Stewart ring the bell during your company’s IPO offering , it’s good luck.

But in all seriousness, TWTR (it’s stock list name) has shown staying and growing power as a company during its first two days as a publicly traded company.  Their IPO isn’t as similar to Facebook as one might think. Facebook had more market value/capital, revenues, and profits than Twitter going into its IPO.  Twitter is still yet to make a profit, which was not the case with Facebook.  So why is its stock performing so well it its infancy?

“We believe that the majority of the world’s 2.4 billion Internet users have great potential to find something or someone on Twitter that they are interested in,” he said. “Because of its critical mass, it should enjoy a competitive advantage for the foreseeable future.” Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities, an investment firm that set the price of Twitter’s stock at $37 per share.

When I saw that quote my eyes popped, because in much simpler language with a more direct tone, that is usually how I pitch Twitter to my friends.  Pick a subject, topic, taste, hobby, or basically any kind of noun and you can find almost an infinite amount of information about it on Twitter.  The example I usually use is music; every musician in every band of every genre of 6every level of popularity along with their record label, fan club, and industry magazines all have the professional and/or personal Twitter accounts.

Understanding the business model of a product that you believe in then buying at a low price and selling at a high price is the corner stone of Warren Buffet’s model of investing. So if you “get” Twitter and have money to invest, buy now. Twitter is not going anywhere, it is as relevant a product as there is in the world.

Twitter’s slice of the social media pie is that it allows you to be anonymous and doesn’t chain you to your immediate friends and family.  Twitter can be used as an ego centric, gossip creating, social status machine like Facebook.  Unlike Facebook however, Twitter can be a legit breaking news source like the Bin Laden killing. It can connect revolutionaries who want to topple a dictator like in Libya.  Twitter can provide actual news and actual information that can have wide reaching effects on the world, not just on one’s social circle.

And that slice of the social media pie is directly correctly to its stock market value, invest accordingly.