If You Are on Facebook or Twitter, You Are a Trump Ally
I spent most of January 6 reading news updates about the attempted coup in the US. I lived there for 22 years, and was among the minority on the left who predicted that Trump would become President, but, even though I left immediately after he was sworn in, I never imagined it becoming so dystopian so quickly. I am grateful to be in Scotland.
Trump's political rise would not have been possible were it not for the culture of disinformation we live in, a world of “alternative facts.” But Trump's administration did not create that world. It was created largely by those who use Facebook or Twitter.
I say those who use those platforms, not the companies themselves, because the companies could not have caused the harm they have caused — getting Trump elected, causing deaths by spreading lies about Covid — if so many people did not support them by using their products. Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey did not create these monsters; their customers did. It does not matter what your own political views are if you help enable the machine that enabled Trump, and that will continue to enable Trumpism.
When looking at the horrifying scenes from Washington, DC, users of Facebook or Twitter should not think of the MAGA thugs as “them,” but rather as “us.” They are your fellow members of your favourite surveillance capitalism community. People often justify their use of these products by saying they have to use them because “All my friends are on there, so it's convenient.” You can choose convenience or decency, but, in this case, not both.