Social Media - Devil in Disguise?

Watching extreme hatred against dissenting opinions and values has become a daily activity. Whether watching tv, listening to talk radio, reading print, perusing web sites or social media, talking to one’s circle, or even in the streets - all of us are inundated by a constant barrage of opinion and conjecture.

Concerning social media, what seems to have begun as a positive step to communication and promulgation of ideas, has evolved into a odious agent of malevolence. Not confined to merely a seething diffference of opinion, rather an instrument to be wielded. With a beginning that belittles and denigrates its recipient; leading to actually endeavoring to destroy the opponent’s reputation or position; terminating in its final ignominy of inciting of physical violence and calls of revolution.

Here is a repost that likely got lost in the shuffle yesterday of a quick study on power and speed that unedited social posts can inflame its readers. You will note that postings are often sent to ‘legitmate’ media unconfirmed, and even when refuted - typically the damage has already been done, irrespective of correction.


“You only read the outrage, never the corrections.”. Milo Yianopolous.

I avoid Facebook like the plague that it is. It was full blown unmitigated idiocy a few years ago.


The problem isn’t just that it’s being reported but by major outlets without any journalistic standards applied. WTF? Like I said in the other thread. It seems like today in the information age, it’s getting hard to get actual, real, factual information. And the news freaking out reporting normal things the government does as like a major thing.
The whole travel ban thing comes to mind. The media acts like the U.S. has never put a travel ban in place. And it’s only for 90 days, like seriously not a big deal. The execution of it was a bit rough and amateurish, but still, it’s not like the U.S. hasn’t issued travel bans before. Back before the fall of the USSR, there were travel bans all over the eastern block. I don’t remember anybody pitching a fit.
And of course, now the order has been rescinded by the courts, if that story is true.

The problem is one of faith, we no longer (not that we had much before) have faith that the news being reported is even true.
What happened to high journalistic standards?
The media is in such a tizzy over Trump, they have lost their minds and are just reporting anything so long as it is a negative something slanderous against Trump.

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I agree with your ‘more access, less truthful info’ slant.

I probably did not carry my OP as deeply as I feel. I think the vitriol can build up to a point to where there is revolution. Revolution without a unifying set of objectives, such as hunger or rising against slavery, just mass physical societal disorder.


It’s powerful.

“If you repeat something enough it becomes true.” - Illusory truth effect, or availability cascade. It doesn’t matter if you heard it from a couple of dimwit celebrities on twitter, read a blog post, and then your FB friend repeated it. The more frequently we hear it, the more likely it is to be accepted as truth.

“People tend to believe previously learned information even after it’s been corrected.” - Continued Influence Effect.


Pat, I hate the travel ban, but I appreciate your points. A lot of the hysteria could have been eliminated with a 7-day notice, and clearer language about how it was temporary and did not include certain groups like green card holders or researchers, students with visas, etc… Something. Trump was an idiot about it.

A Russian immigrant friend of mine posted about this on her FB feed. It was this kind of thing, “Where were all the protestors when our ability to travel was being restricted? There weren’t any.”

I still have my account, but rarely go there these days. You’re not missing anything.

Speaking of news, I don’t have a lot of time to post today because I gotta get over to Nordstrom and buy one of Ivanka’s dresses. You guys have a good weekend!


God bless Kellyanne. You can tell she’s TRYING so freaking hard. Trying her adorable little heart out.

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Amusing anecdote time!

I’m a statistician working with MD’s in a large hospital system; my job is to analyze the research data that helps our docs get answers to specific medical questions (i.e. should we perform X procedure in patient with Y complication, etc). Early in my career, sometimes before I had a “final” dataset to work with, I simulated a “preliminary” version and would use that to write my statistical program. A few times I sent the docs a set of “simulated” results (which was clearly labeled as such) that was meant to be a “This is how I will present your results - is that what you had in mind?” check so I could correct my code ahead of time.

I stopped doing that because every time I did it, the doc would get attached to whatever I’d sent him as the “real” results (even if I told him “No, that isn’t based on real data, it’s just something I made up to show you how I am planning to present your results”).


If people will believe a news story with or without a verified source, those are the same people who get on social media and run with whatever story their emotions tell them to. I literally imagine my toddler throwing a tantrum and I see so many parallels, it’s scary. With news it would be tough to find the actual truth because so many views are presented, but often the truth lies in the middle.

My brother is one of those emotionally immature people. He is a lawyer in Seattle and literally posts on fb about any and every hate story he can find about Trump. These stories go up throughout the day and I wonder if he is actually working, or just posting. Whether Trump was your choice for president or not, Trump will be there for the next four to eight years. Ranting on social media does nothing but share your opinion. If people are swayed by their friends and those opinions, scary times indeed.

That is what I think is happening now. Go to any college campus with a controversial speaker and you have the potential for a riot. Examples abound around America. In my mind this is the root cause of where morals lack. If I were in a situation where I was in a group of likeminded people started destroying stuff, I hope I would have the courage to stop and look what I was doing. Fortunately that has never been tested, but I hope I would catch myself and at least leave the whole situation.

Speaking of Ivanka dresses. . What a complete abuse of power by the White House to promote the Ivanka line. That is NOT your duty as an acting president,nor a WH spokesperson, to promote your family members business because companies (stupidly) have abandoned their line.


For sure. He’s the president now. he should be above these ridiculous tweets. There was a brief window after he was elected, and before he took office when he was sounding more presidential. Erg.

He needs to remove Bannon from the National Security Council. In TNation terms, having Bannon up there with the Joint Chiefs and the Head of the CIA, etc… is like inviting Tracy Anderson be an expert at a strength training conference where the other participants are Jim Wendler and Jay Cutler.


Kinda curious here. Do most conservatives share your opinion of Bannon? Anyone that isn’t an extremist (both sides) seems to be so burned out they avoid politics lately so I don’t get a very accurate representation of the whole picture.


I also would find it highly entertaining to watch a panel discussion with those three.

Can we try to make this happen?


I’m confused by the Bannon choice honestly. If he really was some sort of wormtounge evil mastermind keep him in the shadows. We have telephones and email now. Trump could have taken his advice without publicly mentioning him at all.

I don’t think Bannon is an anti-semite or racist like people paint him. But he definitely traffics in hysteria headlines over on BB.

The only rational explanation I have for him being there is that he helps trump keep the daily outrage train going. They say dumb stuff on purpose so the papers waste all this time being outraged every damn day. Then the stuff Trump actually gets through will get no press scrutiny because they’re too worried about melania’s dress line or some such.

It’s almost like Bannon is the Jedi master of outrage. He’s figured out how to set liberals’ hair on fire daily. The political fatigue that gives non conservatives can’t be overstated. That might be the plan. After years of daily hand wringing by NYT, huffpo et al. Half the country just won’t listen to them anymore.

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The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the Dir of National Intelligence were booted off the NSC. They’ll now attend when “issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed.”

Yes. No doubt.

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Thanks, Tyler. I remember seeing an article that compared the Bush, Obama, and Trump NSCouncils in this regard. “Booted off” is probably too strong, since they are supposed be be there as needed. For me, Bannon is like that Sesame Street song, “One of these things is not like the others. One of these things doesn’t belong.” Completely outclassed.

Me too.

I have no idea. Agree, people are burned out. I didn’t know who Bannon was until this fall when he began to be associated with Trump, but I don’t follow outlets like Fox, or Blaze, or Breitbart either.

Ha! It’s a funny visual, right? Tracy Anderson and Gwyneth Paltrow drive me nuts.

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Tnation is my social media. I have never done the Facebooks. It’s toxic.

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I was a fan of Andrew Breitbart. The only opinion I have of Bannon is that he changed (ruined)Breitbart’s website.

Regardless of how bad Bannon is as a choice for Trump I don’t think he is good enough to warrant all the controversy he brings. Trump for being disliked as much as he is could at least do a few things to please more people, simple thing like picking someone besides Bannon and change his twitter strategy.

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