Medium published my new article “Social Media and the Almighty Dollar”
Yet again money and control usurp American ideals as recent social media giants’ actions demonstrate. Instead of these new communication platforms bringing us together, diminishing distances between us and creating one global village, they are undermining America’s core values of democracy, pluralism, and freedom of speech as YouTube, Facebook, and others decide to censor political content to benefit and solidify the power of one side of the American political spectrum.
YouTube, the Google-owned channel, announced it will remove videos disputing the 2020 presidential election at a time when the legal team of the incumbent president is still contesting the results amid fraud allegations, which include video recordings supposedly proving their claims. In addition, Facebook, owner of WhatsApp and Instagram, is also in the center of yet another controversy. The U.S. government and 48 states and districts are suing the company, accusing it of abuse of power to harm smaller competitors.
Pluralism as Phony as a $3 Dollar Bill
Today, the media, and social media in particular, enjoys boundless benefits as if it were a blank check. It avails itself of widespread influence and power as never before. At any instant, public opinion can be swayed one way or another. With a bag full of billions, anyone can become a president or prime minister. It may seem as if social media has an ideological preference for one political side over the other, but in fact, it is all about the almighty dollar.
Money can buy control, and control can overwhelm and influence everything, allowing the freedom of unruly behavior and excessive power. Day after day, social platforms become places open to slander and vitriol one another, fueling the human ego which enjoys flowing over everyone until people are gradually weakened and surrender. A space with no limits gives license to complete dominance. Day in and day out, hatred for other people becomes greater like a cancer eating away at the body of human society that proliferates toward causing the body’s death.
The proper role of the media is to bring us together, to serve to connect all the organs in a single healthy body. How good it would be if all the different parts of society would sit together — the left and the right, the representatives of all the different interest groups, even those at the margins of society — and all work together for the benefit of the public.
Unification at All Costs
Every opinion should have its own space, no opinion should be subjugated, and no voice should be silenced, but that is not happening anywhere in the world at any time. We need to come to terms with the fact that the current state of affairs is unsustainable — all is rotten, and therefore, radical change is needed.
While it seems like a utopian fantasy to envision social media playing such a role of unification, it is only because we are perpetually exposed to a world of lies and misinformation harmful to society’s health and sanity. Social media, the way it works now, should be completely shut down; otherwise, it will destroy society. People have the power to change it, but only through a strong and unified demand.
A new rule should guide the work of the media and all social media platforms: publish news and content that contributes to the public’s well-being, and strive to unite human society. No one would have the right to undermine another’s opinion, but only to balance it with a different position, to guide the varying points of view toward being mutually complementary, toward completeness.
Precisely when opposites reach mutual acceptance, society reaches a new stage of development. Social media fostering these values is what our global and interconnected world needs today. The benefits to all would be priceless!