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Cruelty Online, Influencers & Time Delayed Consequences

When you search on Bing or Google and you ask a question, you get an answer. These answers are partly based on something called SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Which means the factors that cause a site to rank higher are considered in which content to use for an answer to your question.

Some of these SEO factors include ratings and links from other websites and the SEO ranking of the sites that link to yours. None of that helps to qualify the accuracy of the actual answer, but it is part of how the search engine decides to answer your question. You can ask the same question in different ways and depending on the content available on the internet you may get conflicting answers, simply because you asked a different way.

The algorithms that generate your social media feed are not far from SEO algorithms that but for a few different variables for more of a social context. While this seems logical and innocent, what is happening with influencers on social media is actually really really bad for the same reason one should not take Google or Bing answers at face value without reading the articles the answers are based on, and that is a lack of qualitative authority of a topic.

Previous to the internet, in order to have influence among a wide audience you needed to be respected in your field, which usually was accompanied by some form of formal education and title or certificate to acknowledge such authority on a topic, or a lot of money to publish and distribute. No such requirements exist on the internet so any yahoo that figures out how to feed the algorithms can obtain a wide audience to influence. 

When you consider what you see in line at the store or in traffic, this becomes pretty concerning as it is evident that there are way more influential voices than there are people with the authority or capacity to guide anyone on the topics they touch on.

Our society is being guided by halfwits, bullshi--ers, con artists, and the deranged looking for attention. The first real consequence to this was the entire election nonsense with Trump. How many people had an idea that they may be buying into Russian propaganda and still went with it anyway? This article cannot even begin to consider the motivations behind such complicity, but it is eye-opening.

This ability for the blind to lead the blind also amplifies things like hate and generic cruelty. Society was already becoming untethered because our reason for building communities 200 years ago was that community was how humans survived against the forces of the earth and now, we are all very comfortable and don't have the same motivations. We have become more self-seeking, thank you hippies and corporate America 😐.

These behaviors do not stay on the internet. One example is the death of children performing social media "Challenges", and Quiet Quitting where the employee mistakenly believes that working in such a way as to intentionally reduce the profitability of their place of work is in their best interest, until they are laid-off because of reduced profits. Not to mention taking these crappy attitudes and indifference to work erodes trust in businesses and being such a capitalist country, this tears at our very fabric.

This kind of stuff cannot be fixed by legislation because you cannot create a mechanism against the fact that young people are the consumers of this crap and that they are not equipped with the tools to readily identify an idiot or mentally unhealthy person seeking attention. I mean you can try but parents buy their kids videogames where mass shootings are the themes in various forms, from the street violence type to the tactical jarhead games favorited by kids because they get to retain the Good Guy status while blowing people away. I too am guilty of this.

So, Nancy Reagan's era of ratings and censorship (soft book burning) is no longer a system that keeps the idiots from spreading the stupid. Most people don't know it but information and how we distribute it, the effects on a society, have presented a conundrum for humans since shortly after leaving the caves. Institutions and states used to keep information under lock and key, some have burned and destroyed various forms of information, and today we are attacking our own society and teachers, trying to make kids what we want through targeted ignorance and villainizing the public library.

Before sharing a post, decide if you want that content in your life in a very real way, because what you share will influence those you share it with. I'm a liberal, which means I stand for individual liberty backed by a democratic government which is to serve society by service the individual. Hiding knowledge is not that, so it is our personal responsibility based on the values each individual holds to decide what impact we want social media or any information to play in our lives.