Glenn K. Beaton is a writer and columnist living near Aspen. He has been a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, RealClearPolitics, Powerline, Instapundit, American Thinker and numerous other print, radio and television outlets.
Twitter and Facebook candidly play political favorites. They censor ideas and content on the right while permitting countervailing ideas and thought on the left
Events of last week compared to events of last summer drive this home. Social media has been clamping down on complaints about a stolen election, to the point now that Facebook says it will censor all references to “Stop the Steal.”
Meanwhile, Twitter has altogether banned the President of the United States from its platform. Their justification for this is that his tweets threaten our country.
In contrast, neither Twitter nor Facebook banned Antifa or Black Lives Matter last summer when they were actively advocating the overthrow of the government. They chanted “No USA at all” and “Burn it Down” as they attempted to do precisely that. They failed, so far, but they did kill and maim a number of people and destroy billions of dollars in property.
A month and a half ago, the GOP had a lock on keeping the Senate. Polls suggested Dem wins in places like Maine and Iowa but, when the votes were ultimately counted, GOP Senators Susan Collins and Jodi Ernst won handily.
In Georgia, the two GOP incumbents did well, but didn’t quite exceed 50% in a multicandidate race. Under Georgia law, that meant a runoff was necessary between them and their Democrat challengers.
The GOP – and the oddsmakers and pollsters – thought the GOP incumbents would win easily. Georgia hasn’t elected a Dem senator in the last generation. Moreover, both Dem candidates were fairly weak. One was tied to China and the other was a Reverend Wright wannabe, Fidel Castro sympathizer and wife abuser.
But the Dems won today. The Senate goes to the Dems along with the House of Representatives and the Presidency. So what happened in the two month interval between the time it seemed the GOP had a lock on the Georgia runoffs and the runoffs themselves?
Can you imagine Walter Cronkite on Twitter? Neither can I.
Twitter is of course that vulgar platform where people send cryptic messages to their followers. The average length of a Tweet is 33 characters – one short, ungrammatical sentence. The platform was specifically designed for superficiality. It’s a place to be snide, snarky and self-promoting, not a place for reasoned debate or reliable information.
Twitter hosts “commentary” by the likes of Kim Kardashian who has 67 million followers and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who has 10 million followers. And CNN anchor Jake Tapper who has three million followers and has posted 227,000 tweets.
Yes, that’s right. An anchor of what used to be America’s most trusted news source promotes himself hundreds of times a day with cryptic, snarky Tweets. Many of those cryptic, snarky Tweets seek successfully to provoke cryptic, snarky Tweets in response by President Donald Trump.